Charlie smiling in front of a dark grey background

Charlie Smith – YMCA Norfolk

Charlie joined YMCA Norfolk as an engagement worker four years ago and her achievements have been wide and varied over this period of time. Charlie has been instrumental in growing and developing our Mind Matters team, always leading by example.

In 2017 Charlie completed the training for MHFA and through her dedication and hard work has driven the project forward from being grant dependant to predominately sales based. Charlie has delivered numerous mental health sessions to young people in schools, youth settings, YMCA residents and through outreach work across Norfolk. Through this targeted and universal work she has raised awareness of mental health issues and made strides to break down the stigma of mental health in many of the more challenging areas of Norfolk. Through her close working links with YMCA England & Wales she has imbedded the “I am Whole” Campaign and” Be Real” into a clear majority of the workshops and sessions; developing close links with other local charities and churches to grow her reach.

Charlie’s passion for the work has not stopped in Norfolk and in her role as Youth Ambassador for YMCA England & Wales she has travelled all over; delivering the positive mental health message. Charlie attended the YMCA conference in Switzerland and delivered a training session to other YMCA staff and Youth Ambassadors. In 2018 she delivered a powerful message in St Pauls Cathedral supporting YMCA England & Wales’ successful fundraising campaign.

Charlie completed her training as a new YMCA line manager, successfully completing her ILM level 3. She has supported and inspired her team throughout. More recently becoming a first-time mum she continues to volunteer her time to YMCA and recently visited YMCA St Paul’s Group to discuss our Mental Health work alongside other mental health advocates with Prince Harry. She is volunteering her time in June for YMCA 175.

Chloe smiling in front a pink background

Chloe Hobbs – YMCA Cardiff

Chloe is an amazing young person. She is part of the YMCA Young Carers Project in the Vale of Glamorgan. She joined the project seven years ago and is involved in developing the Vale Young Carer Forum- AVAH and even created the name AVAH (All Voices Are Heard). She helps plans and organise the forum meetings, leads the forum every month and makes sure that all voices in the forum and the young carers voices are heard.

She leads the Reach Out Project and created the idea of youth homelessness essential hampers and ‘Survival Socks.’ In the Reach Out Project she organised meetings, dealt with a budget, managed a project and even encouraged more young people to join the project.

She is involved in the school panel, which is a group of young people from south east Wales that award schools with young carer awards that could be bronze, silver or gold. Chloe is an exceptional young person who is able to support and lead young people in the young carer community whilst still having a caring responsibility herself. She always puts everyone else before herself and makes sure everyone is getting the support they deserve as carers.

Sarah smiling in front of yellow background

Sarah Daniels – YMCA Essex

Having come through the same kind of challenges many of our young people face, Sarah has always had a unique perspective to share with the young people and families she serves.

Her appointment at YMCA Essex provided her with her first managerial role as Deputy Manager for Youth Services (having come ‘through the ranks’). She has also been the Acting Manager when our service manager was unexpectedly unwell for a period of time.

Sarah’s role oversees 19 staff working with over 500 service users. She is a dedicated leader who always goes above and beyond to deliver the best support for her team, whilst also being an exemplary youth leader and family support worker to boot.

In times of adversity, Sarah has always maintained her professionalism and integrity and supporting her young people has always been paramount. She has stood between armed youngsters, de-escalated countless difficult situations, worked intensively with families who everyone else had given up on, and always been a shining example of Y-shaped hope.

We are proud of Sarah and how she has grown in confidence and ability during her time with us.

Youth Matters Awards categories