Meet Steve Whitmore, our award-winning volunteer

For 25 years Steve has been an invaluable member of our team. He's now been awarded to recognise his good work.

Our volunteers are responsible for some amazing things – not least teaching 3600 classes a year, taking 2080 gym inductions and serving over 6000 cups of tea at our operation the YMCA Club.

One of our longest-standing volunteers is Steve Whitmore. Well known and much loved, Steve has volunteered for more than 25 years for the Positive Health exercise referral scheme at YMCA Club. Yes, we’ve done the maths. That works out at around 2,500 hours Steve has dedicated to offering healthy-living advice and activities to those living with HIV and Aids!

“I started volunteering at Central YMCA to be closer to my brother who is a member of the Club,” said Steve, “and it soon became – and continues to be – an integral part of my life.”

Positive Health offers advice and fitness activities to those living with HIV and AIDS. In his role as a volunteer Steve has been responsible for mentoring those patients who require extra support. The goal is to help them become more active, which in turn brings about improvements in their mental and physical health.

Steve has made a remarkable difference to the life and work of Central YMCA over the past 25 years
Rosi Prescott, Central YMCA’s Chief Executive

We're very proud that all of Steve's good work hasn’t gone un-noticed either. Earlier this year he was awarded the distinguished Medal of the Order of the League of Mercy (OLM). The award’s history stretches back to 1899 when it was created to recognise volunteers assisting in the relief of sickness and suffering. Every year just 30 volunteers in the UK are selected. Steve says he was delighted and honoured to be one of them. 

Steve has, in fact, received an eye-watering number of awards and accolades for his work, including:

  • Central YMCA, Volunteer of the Year
  • Prime Minister Points Of light (on two occasions!) 405, 808
  • Chrysalis International Fitness Showcase RU Personal Trainer of the Year
  • Sporta 2016 Outstanding Individual Achievement
  • Top 5 Lord Ferrers Award 
  • Lambeth Boxing Volunteer Award 
  • Metropolitan Police Service, Total Policing Award & RU Special Constable of the Year
  • Metropolitan Special Constable Team of the Year Award  
  • The Liberty of the Old Metropolitan Borough of Southwark
  • British Citizen Awards Medal 
  • Third Sector Awards, Volunteer of the Year Finalist
  • Chris Donavon Trust Recognition Award  

In addition to his volunteer work at Central YMCA, Steve also manages to fit in 16 hours per month volunteering for the Metropolitan Police Service as a Special Constable, as well as lecturing at Positive East on their newly diagnosed HIV course for people in East London and at YMCAfit teaching on the Living with HIV Level 3 training module for personal trainers and fitness instructors.

Rosi Prescott, CEO Central YMCA, said: “Steve has made a remarkable difference to the life and work of Central YMCA over the past 25 years through his relentless passion for volunteering. I don’t believe there can be many programmes in the Club that haven’t benefited one way or another from his enthusiastic contribution. Thank you Steve for all your hard work and here’s to the next 25 years!”

YMCA Club is one of Central YMCA's operations. Read more about Central YMCA and its four operations.