It takes a special person to be a volunteer, and SU supporter Keith is no exception. In fact, he has quite the story to tell about why he believes it’s important to invest in others.
Three years ago, Keith started volunteering on the chaplaincy committee at his local school in Kuranda. Thanks to his background in banking and finance, he was also quickly scouted to be their Treasurer.
But it’s not his number crunching that Keith is most known for. Around the school he is affectionately known as ‘Pancake Dude’ or ‘Camp Grandad’ due to his involvement with GENTS Camp – a well-loved camp that speaks life and confidence into young men.
“Volunteering has given me the opportunity to be of service in my community. I’m retired, so I have time and I like being able to do something good for other people – young people in particular,” says Keith.
“In our area, certainly around the Tablelands, there are lots of kids who don’t necessarily come from a good background. They are facing real struggles at home.”
“I do my bit to help out by cooking pancakes at the school’s weekly Brekky Club, and once a quarter we also do a Community Breakfast for the wider community and parents. This is a place where you can bond with members of the community, and they really love it. I see volunteering as a way to help other people have a better life.”
Keith has also been a part of other emotional support events such as R U Ok week, Bullying No Way week, and last year he even shaved his head as part of the World’s Greatest Shave for cancer research.
Through his active involvement in the community, Keith is acutely aware how different the pace of life is for our young people today.
“I grew up in the UK, and can remember my mates knocking on the front door and asking if I wanted to kick the football down at the local park. Now, young people seem to be in front of screens all day long and they’re socialising with one another digitally.”
“I think technology definitely has its advantages, but it can easily be misused. This is why I think it’s very important we invest on a face-to-face level with our young people.”
“I help out at GENTS Camp, a camp for boys in their early teenage years, and we run games and do activities like water sports and laser tag, but we also have time for spiritual input. It’s important to get our young people talking outloud about the things they’re going through.”
Volunteers like Keith are a vital pillar of the Scripture Union movement, and so much of what we do wouldn’t be possible without them. So from all of us at SU, thank you Keith and thank you to all our amazing volunteers. You are making a massive difference in the lives of our young people and their communities.
If you too would like to be part of something that has impact on others, why not join our team of 4,000+ volunteers? Find out how to be involved here!