The most rewarding thing, by far, is knowing how much our support workers are helping young people to see a positive future and move towards it.
Louise is our Chief Executive and began working for YMCA Doncaster in the summer of 1999.
Born in Goole, Louise always saw Doncaster as somewhere to go when she felt the need for a bit of glamour and excitement. When she saw the role at YMCA Doncaster advertised she felt it was perfect.
Louise began her working life on a supermarket deli, cutting cheese and weighing ham:
“I was there when they introduced the ‘choose your own pizza’ range, which was revolutionary at the time. I think it’s the only job where I’ve ever had to wear a hat.”
Louise began her time with the Association when she started volunteering for her local YMCA:
“I had a friend who’d done a one year ‘Time for God’ placement at another YMCA. They used to go on and on about how marvellous it was, and they really emphasised the huge feeling of belonging and community. Eventually, they wore me down and I started volunteering for the YMCA near me.”
Louise worked at two other YMCAs before Doncaster, gaining lots of experience in many areas. One of her roles was as Programme Manager, running lots of children’s and youth activities including a daytime club for 64 children every day during school holidays.
Now Chief Executive, Louise states her role is a ‘real mixed bag’ – mostly behind the scenes and with a lot of forward planning, finance work, project management and all of the governance and policies that give YMCA Doncaster a strong framework. Louise also has some particular responsibilities for Communications / Fundraising activities and overseeing HR functions.
When asked what the most rewarding thing about her role is Louise answered:
“The most rewarding thing, by far, is knowing how much our support workers are helping young people to see a positive future and move towards it. I also have a special admiration for our Shadow Board, a group of young people who are very good at helping us to grapple with complex issues – whether that’s a tricky policy or a new programme idea.”
When Louise was young she had a period of time when she decided she was Rupert Bear and insisted on being addressed as Rupert. She can play piano a bit and she won’t ever let the staff team forget that she was Humberside Junior Entertainer of the Year (when she was about 12!).
In her spare time she can be found writing short fiction, enjoying her own happy ever after with Mike and chatting about her dog Arthur:
“I bang on about Arthur to anyone who will listen; he’d been picked up as a stray and we found him at a local rescue centre. He lives for balls and biscuits, and it’s good for me to have someone in my life who takes pleasure in such simple things.”