This week is National Youth week - a celebration of young people throughout Australia. At the Y we are celebrating the contributions our young staff and volunteers make to our organisation.
In 2014 Marcell Wombwell found herself reminiscing about a “really awesome YMCA summer camp” she attended as kid. Reflecting on these fond memories she realised she wanted to positively contribute to the camp experiences of other kids, this time as a camp leader.
After a quick Google, Marcell found out how to apply to become a Y volunteer, and three years on, the 22-year-old is still making invaluable contributions to the Y.
Well-loved by campers, camp staff and volunteers alike, Marcell’s passion for helping others to become healthier and happier is evident in all she does.
“Most people know me as the overly loud and energetic leader,” says Marcell.
“When I go on programs and camps I always make sure I bring an open mind, my energy and a smile.”
Marcell’s main goal is to be a positive influence and make a difference in young people’s lives. Having volunteered on almost every program the Y has to offer, it’s fair to say she is certainly achieving this goal.
Marcell has worked on Parentlink, a program for single parents and their children, Connect Camp, a five day camping program for youth at-risk or experiencing disadvantage, and Weekend Escapes, a program for adults with disability.
Currently studying her Masters of Teaching as well as running a before and after school care program, Marcell is well-equipped to help positively influence young people at-risk, bringing the skills and knowledge she has gained at university and work to contribute something great to the Y.
“Volunteering for the Y involves creating a safe place for everybody and giving up an afternoon or a whole week to spend with some fantastic people… It’s so worth it when you see the smile on the participants’ faces.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever gone on camp and not got paint all over me, been smashed in the head by an egg or done something else crazy your friends would laugh at you for… and I’ve loved every minute of it!”
It’s thanks to volunteers like Marcell that make Y programs so special. The time and energy our volunteers contribute is truly commendable, and our participants, both children and adults, have their experiences enriched because of them.
“I love seeing the same participants return camp after camp and hearing all their stories,” says Marcell.
“Volunteering for the Y is one of my favourite things to do.”