Trevor loves the hours he spends each week volunteering on the reception desk at the YMCA Sports and Community Centre in Redhill.
“It’s given me a purpose,” he says. “I enjoy mixing with people. Some are better off than me and some maybe worse.”
A car crash in 1999 left Trevor with a severe brain injury and hospitalised for four years. Only the love and commitment of his family pulled him through this traumatic time.
“He was still our son and we refused to give up on him,” explains his devoted mum, Anne. “Trevor’s recovery has been painfully slow but we were determined to find him the best possible care we could.”
The family were finally put in touch with the YMCA’s Exercise Referral programme via a social worker and almost ten years ago Trevor began attending weekly exercise sessions.
This year, over 430 members of the Exercise Referral programme have taken part in safe and effective physical activity with support from qualified staff in our fully accessible centre and gym.
“I was told that I’d never regain any range of movement,” says Trevor, 39, “but now I am far more mobile, I’ve lost weight and I’m steadily toning up.”
“He has a social group here too,” says Anne. “It’s a friendly and welcoming environment where he can take a break from us and chat with other people. He keeps so positive and happy – he’s an absolute credit to us.”
Once Trevor felt ready for another major step, the family enquired about voluntary work at the YMCA. Despite short-term memory loss and ongoing mobility issues, he has been manning the reception desk for a few hours a week for the last four years. Having moved out of his parents’ house, Trevor now lives independently with the help of a carer. He’s making plans to celebrate his 40th birthday with friends at the end of the year.
Anne and Trevor are sure that he would have struggled to move on in the same way without the support of the YMCA.
They have no doubt about what this help has meant to them as a family.
“It’s saved us all,” Anne says simply. “Not just Trevor. It’s become our world and we don’t know what we would have done without it.”