Baytree wouldn’t be here without the work of our wonderful volunteers who give their time and dedication so generously and empower and inspire girls and women across the centre.
Baytree has a 200 strong volunteer force. Meet Apithanie, Rosalie, Jeni and Gabby who volunteer their time in our Youth Service.
Apithanie joined us three years ago, co-leading Spark, a weekly youth group focusing on the development of young women’s leadership skills. As a life coach, she also delivered an inspirational workshop for our Women in Leadership conference, Sparking Change, back in July. Apithanie chose to volunteer at Baytree because the ethos spoke to her. Having grown up in Hackney, the fact Baytree supports and inspires inner city girls was something that meant a lot to her. ‘What I enjoy most is hanging out with the girls’, she says. ‘They are funny, intelligent and full of surprises. There’s a great community here, there’s just a beautiful vibe and a lovely energy.’
Rosalie has been mentoring at Baytree for over a year, and has massively helped her mentee with her anxiety and her exam technique. Rosalie loves every day of her mentoring and to watch her mentee’s confidence grow. Her highlight so far has been seeing the success of all their hard work together when her mentee achieved top grades in her SATS exams. Baytree is important to Rosalie because it gives her the chance to give back to her local community, to develop a connection with young people and to make a real difference. Mentoring is more than just teaching, it’s about building meaningful relationships that support mentees to develop in a holistic way and reach their full potential. Through her time with us, Rosalie has shown a commitment to improving social mobility. Outside of Baytree she works for a youth charity and believes in shaping your life around your purpose.
The fabulous Jeni has been part of Baytree for four years. She started out mentoring a young girl, where she built a strong, trusting relationship and supported her with her transition to secondary school. Three years later, she now volunteers with our young women, co-leading the Spark Youth Group. Jeni chose to start volunteering at Baytree because she’s passionate about empowering women and girls. Jeni says that she loves working with Spark, where gets to hear girls’ stories and opinions: ‘They are so inspiring and watching them blossom into incredible young women is truly a privilege. Coming to Baytree is the highlight of my working week.’ When asked about kindness, Jeni says: ‘Kindness is something we are all capable of giving and which we are all grateful to receive. It’s being mindful of other people and their needs, and treating them with care, respect, and love.
Gabby joined us three years ago for the KS2 Science Club. Her energetic lessons have sparked curiosity, creativity and a whole new love of science in our girls. Gabby enjoys getting the girls to think about science through crafts and creative activities and has the most fun when the girls are enjoying themselves. She joined after leaving uni and wanted to discover her path. Having grown up in Brixton Gabby wanted to give back and be part of the community. Gabby believes in helping everyone feel included. When asked about purpose, one of Baytree’s key values, Gaby says it’s something you find within yourself that is meaningful that helps and supports others, coming together to be part of a community. She continues her brilliance in and out of Baytree.