YCF celebrates launch of new-look volunteer team
For many years Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s award-winning Yorkies Welcome Team have worked tirelessly at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, giving up their time to help provide a warm and welcoming experience to all spectators at Headingley Cricket Ground and other associated out grounds across the county.
This week saw the launch of a new-look Yorkies team – with more than 25 match-day volunteers sporting a vibrant hot-pink uniform as they supported the Yorkshire Viking’s first T20 game of the season against Worcester Rapids, at Headingley Stadium, on Wednesday, 25th May.
We want to give a personal touch that volunteers have a unique way of being able to do – Thomas Mason, Volunteer Manager for YCF
Thomas Mason, the Volunteer Manager at Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, who led out the Yorkies for his very first time, said the team had a “hugely positive impact” for members of the public attending.
Tom said: “All the volunteers have made an incredibly positive impact and have made sure each person who has stepped in the ground has been welcomed and supported.
“We want to be able to help support members of the public to have a memorable and positive experience and also offer a personal touch that our team of volunteers have a unique way of being able to do.”
Tom added: “It’s been a busy day, everything’s seemed to have happened at once but it’s great to be able to lead a team that are offering support at such a big live sporting event. Being here at the T20 is really exciting for everyone involved.”
Pictured, Yorkies volunteers 25-year old Hina (left) alongside Andy (64).
This year the inclusive Yorkies team will help out from gates opening, during the interval and post game at Yorkshire Viking T20, international and Northern Diamonds fixtures and support on a variety of match day roles.
This includes helping at the gates, on local transport routes, on ticket collections, directing spectators to their seats, helping in the Yorkshire Cricket Museum and generally there to offer a helping hand.
Volunteer Richard Griffiths, who helped out at the Yorkshire Cricket Museum, on Wednesday, said: “The Yorkies Welcome Team help people’s experience, they also offer members of the public a feel-good factor so they have a fabulous day and go away wanting to come back and see us again.”
Another member of the Yorkies team, Hari Joshi, 65, said: “Cricket is my passion, and I like the community work. I’ve been a volunteer for almost 5 years now.”
“People who come here, they want to enjoy it. So whatever they need, whatever questions they have, they shall get their answer.”
Srajan Bhadauria, 29, added: “Cricket is something which is very close to us, so it’s good to do something with cricket. It’s also to help people so it’s a good thing to do.”
The Yorkies are also championing Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Respect campaign, which launched earlier this month for those attending fixtures at Headingley, Scarborough and York.
A special five digit SMS number, 60650, has been setup for spectators to anonymously report any anti-social behaviour that they have suffered or witnessed within the grounds.
Text messages that are sent to this number will go straight to the security team to enable a quicker response time to any anti-social behaviour.
At Headingley, the text number is printed on the back of Yorkies t-shirts, is displayed on screens around the stadium and promoted on all pre-match communications to spectators.
Andy Dawson, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Chief Operating Officer said: “It is important that we encourage a positive and safe environment where everyone is treated with respect, whether they are watching, playing, volunteering or working in cricket.
“Yorkshire has a zero tolerance stance and wants to ensure that there is an easy and confidential way of calling out inappropriate behaviour in confidence.”
The Yorkies will be back to help out again at Headingley Stadium this Sunday, 29 May, in a T20 double header – with Northern Diamonds taking on Thunder followed by Yorkshire Vikings up against Leicestershire.
To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please visit here.