Volunteers at local young people’s mental health charity make a real difference in MK

    YiS, a local mental health charity for young people, is run and mostly delivered by volunteers so for Volunteers Week (1st-7th June) they want to celebrate the difference local volunteering makes.

    “We’re super grateful for the amount of time, dedication and hard work our volunteers put into supporting young people’s mental health. Having local people give freely of their time is incredibly inspiring and helps keep our small staff team motivated” says CEO Gareth Eglinton-Pacitti.

    YiS is made up of just 4 part time employees and over 30 volunteers who are either trained counsellors, facilitators, admin support or trustees. Last year, YiS saw 250 young people use their counselling service, and this year they’re on track to see even more young people in MK.

    “In the last few months a lot of our services have switched to online, we’re running groups for local organisations, including youth groups, charities and even some businesses. Including the work before the pandemic we’ve seen over 400 additional young people this year”, says Antonietta Moch, YiS’s Education & Training Manager, “there are a lot of needs out there, from pandemic-related impact to complex situations made even more complex by the COVID-19 outbreak”.

    “One of our volunteer counsellors has been here since 2006, I myself started as a volunteer counsellor back when there were just three of us”, says CEO Gareth. He continues, “YiS has always had a good reputation for how it treats its volunteers, it's one of the reasons I first joined. Last year we did a survey asking volunteers how they felt about YiS and the top answers were ‘supported’, ‘satisfying’ and ‘rewarded’. Obviously our volunteers work with some really hard issues with our clients so the staff feel it’s our job to make it as smooth as possible for them to do the amazing work they do with clients. The difference they make is really impressive - last year 100% of young people we asked felt we helped them, 96% felt able to move on and 99% would recommend us to a friend.”

    The charity is currently working with MK Council, YMCA, Harry’s Rainbow, local parish councils, schools and GPs to support a wide range of young people in the area and are looking for volunteer fundraisers, admin support and anyone with a skill they think can help YiS grow and make a bigger impact.

    If you are interested, you can contact YiS on 01908 604700, info@mkyis.org.uk or follow @YiSMentalHealth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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