Introducing Megan and Livvy
The Wellbeing Walks programme, sponsored by Olympian Homes, is in full swing with its two fantastic placement students ready to make a change.
Livvy and Megan are in charge of organising new group walks in a range of areas in York to provide more opportunities for people to get involved. Not only this, but they are also in charge of recruiting more Walk Leaders to help meet the growing demand for them.
Megan had already been a volunteer with Move the Masses for 6 months before she applied to become part of this programme. She wanted a better look at what went on behind the scenes of a charity, and so when this programme was advertised she lept at the chance to learn more. As well as this, she wanted to get to grips with the software and graphic design tools that are needed for running such a large project.
‘It’s a really good experience, and it is especially good to work within a volunteer group I was already a part of. It has really helped me see the other side of the voluntary sector and understand what goes on behind the scenes.’
Livvy, a former president of her sports team, came to the project from a different angle. During the pandemic, her sports club had continued to hold events following the government guidelines. She had seen how important socialising and having events like group walks were and that they could really make a difference to someone’s mental health during such a lonely time like COVID.
‘The feedback that I was getting from freshers and members of my sports team was that these events were really important for their mental well being because they were able to get outside to socialise.’
When she saw the advertisement for the internship, she knew she wanted to apply what she had learnt as the president of her club to this project. Wanting to move into the non-profit sector after her masters, Livvy saw this project as a chance to fully apply her expertise to this project in order to not only gain vital skills but also to make a difference.
Further interactive training for volunteers is at the heart of this project, with both Megan and Livvy working on building a more engaging training programme for new recruits. Given COVID’s prevalence over the last 18 months, adapting the training schemes to fit these new challenges is a large part of the project.
‘We’re trying to emphasise that the most important thing is to keep the other person safe and comfortable.’