Steve Whitmore, one of our longest-standing volunteers here at Central YMCA, will be awarded the very distinguished Medal of the Order of the League of Mercy (OLM), presented next month at Mansion House. This award was first given in 1899 for voluntary service assisting in the relief of sickness and suffering and every year awards just 30 volunteers in the UK who have stood out in giving up their time to the voluntary care of those in need.
"I was delighted and honoured to be recognised for my voluntary work on the Positive Health Scheme at Central YMCA. I started volunteering at Central YMCA to be closer to my brother who is a member of the Club and it soon became and continuous to be an integral part of my life." Steve Whitmore.
Steve has been a volunteer on YMCA Club’s Community Programmes for 25 years, donating over 2,600 hours of support and motivation to hundreds of people from the local community during that time. Over this period, he has spent the majority of his time volunteering for the Positive Health exercise referral scheme, offering healthy-living advice and structured activities to those living with HIV and Aids. In his role as a volunteer he has been responsible for mentoring those patients who require extra support and guidance due to medical conditions, enabling them to become more active and, in so doing, improve their mental and physical health.
“Steve has made a remarkable difference to the life and work of Central YMCA over the past 25 years through his relentless passion for volunteering. I don’t believe there can be many programmes in the Club that haven’t benefited one way or another from his enthusiastic contribution. Thank you Steve for all your hard work and here’s to the next 25 years!” Rosi Prescott, CEO Central YMCA.
Steve is currently responsible for designing and delivering programme updates and reviews for patients who have completed the Positive Health scheme and who want to review their current exercise regime. Steve has always approached his volunteering role with great enthusiasm and passion; he provides considerable motivation for clients and helps them reach their goals through coaching and explaining the benefits of exercise. He is always willing to help out where he can and works extremely effectively within the whole Positive Health staff team.
In addition to his volunteer work at Central YMCA, Steve also manages to fit in 16 hours per month volunteering for the Metropolitan Police Service as a Special Constable and lectures at Positive East on their newly diagnosed HIV course for people in East London and at YMCAfit teaching on the Living with HIV Level 3 training module for personal trainers and fitness instructors.
Lord Lingfield, President of the League of Mercy says of the award, “We believe that it is vital to recognise and honour the work of volunteers. By doing so we may develop public awareness of their work and encourage others to join them in giving up their time to the voluntary care of those in need.”