Community Hero Simon an inspiration

Congratulations to Simon Davies, supported by reach, on receiving a Community Hero award for his outstanding volunteering efforts at Pill Millennium Centre, Newport.

Simon was recently presented with a Community Heroes Award at an award ceremony at Kings Church and featured in the local press. “I’ve never been recognised for achieving anything in my life so I was chuffed to be nominated and hope I get one next year”! Simon told us.

Here in his own words Simon describes how his life has changed for the better with reach’s Support.

“For nearly three years I had been sitting round, doing nothing
every day. I have trouble reading and writing so to get a job has proved very difficult for me. That is until my support worker suggested visiting the Pillgwenlly Millennium Centre.

The centre is run mainly by volunteers and my support worker Kim felt I had the necessary experience and skills to be able to contribute to the centre’s running and upkeep. So I went down there and met the manager, Julie, who gave me a guided tour of the place and explained what sort of things went on.

The centre provides all kinds of activities for the community including loads of sports, roller-skating parties, computer training rooms, hen parties and even weddings.

I liked the feel of the place straight away. They are a real mixed bunch of people who work there and use the facilities. People from different walks of life and different cultures use the facilities on a daily basis. It really is the centre of the community
with everyone coming together. I love being part of that. It makes it very interesting and I have learned a lot about people in general.

From the day I started there, I was left to get on with the jobs I’d been given. The staff are always very grateful and tell me I am reliable and hard working. It’s nice to be told that and makes me want to do well. I’ve done outdoor painting jobs, cleaning, setting up the main hall for different events, restoring gates, all kinds of things.

At the moment, I am doing up some old benches which are going to have plaques put on them with the names of founder members of the Pill Mill Centre. There is going to be a presentation when the benches are unveiled and I will be proud to know that the benches were my own handy work.

No two days are the same and I like the variety. I used to be so bored all the time, drinking and smoking too much, but now, there are not enough hours in the day! It makes me feel valued and it has improved my confidence.

This has been a wonderful journey for me. I had kind of given up on finding anything to interest me but thanks to Reach, I am now busier than ever! I hope all this experience will result in me getting paid work eventually and I would totally recommend to people to try doing some voluntary work. It has opened up a whole new world for me’.

Simon is supported by reach through their dedicated housing support team ‘Newid’ who provide support for people with long term lower level needs.

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Reach Support