Mick's Story - My Yorkie Debut
Here at the YCF, we come across a lot of people that don’t necessarily get why we have volunteers on match days. Sure, it helps the club, it helps create the best match day experience, give spectators a warm Yorkshire welcome and aids in day to day activities, like the ticket office and in the club shop. But why then, do we say our Yorkies (and our wider volunteering programme) fall under our Health & Wellbeing theme?
Put simply, volunteering is about creating a community. It’s about generating opportunities for people to meet one another; to improve not so much their physical health but their mental health. And not just their own, but the thousands of people they interact with on a match day. It’s about generating opportunities for personal and professional development. It’s about opportunity for people to get out of it what they want.
Mick is one of our Yorkies who we approached to tell his story on what volunteering has done for him. He’s joined us at nearly every fixture we’ve been involved in at Emerald Headingley, Scarborough and York, so naturally, we got to know him fairly well and his background.
So, in his own words, this is Mick’s story…
March 5th – Keighley
Over a coffee, my mate Steve asks me if I would be interested in volunteering with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and after some thought I complete the application form.
May 12th – Emerald Headingley
10.30am, East stand, classroom 1. My mate Steve and I, with some trepidation, walk into the room full of strangers and it all kicks off – the season that is. Beth introduces Charlotte, who outlines the Foundation as a whole and explains what the Yorkies are all about. I look around and immediately know that I am amongst friends. No rivalry, just a common desire to do something worthwhile and to follow our common interest in cricket. I’ve cracked it – my anxiety has already started to wane.
I spend the summer doing activities I’m starting to enjoy again – meeting and greeting, directing, working in the shop,transporting all types of interesting people, selling scorecards, watching cricket. Enjoying life again.
Nothing is a chore and if it was, my Yorkie colleagues would come to my aid. I’m spending time helping- myself and others. And, I don’t need a chaperone anymore. I even venture to York and Scarborough and meet people I’ve not met in years. We talk easily in the Foundation gazebo and I start to realise and fully appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication of all the staff working there. We share a pizza or two. I’m regaining my confidence and I am enjoying life again.
Alas, the cricket season is over all too soon but I’m able to benefit from the continued help and encouragement from staff and fellow Yorkies alike. Mel takes us on a guided tour of the stadium and I sit in Joe Root’s seat in the dressing room – a dream!
A huge thank you to one and all, but may I especially mention Beth and the rest of the team in the office for their continued support in my recovery. Here’s to next season and I look forward to meeting up with everyone again (that’s if they’ll have me back).
Of course we will Mick!!
The YCF are currently looking for a sponsor for the Yorkies to provide valuable training opportunities, such as Mental Health First Aid Training, and to purchase much needed equipment and uniform. As always, we’re looking for people to join the team. For more information on the Yorkies or our other Health & Wellbeing projects, contact Beth.Cook@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com