Volunteer Story of the Month - May 2024

For May, a month bringing awareness to mental health, especially with the 2024 theme being Movement: Moving more for our mental health, we had a quick chat with Sara Lee from Cre8 Football.

Hi, what’s your name and what volunteering do you do now? 

Hello, I am Sara Lee and I became a volunteer at Cre8 at the end of 2023, as a  Community Connector.  It is a great opportunity for me to expand and utilise past experiences and passion to support Cre8 aspirations to grow.

 Sara Lee smiling from Cre8Football square photo

Any volunteering you’ve done in the past?  

My first experience would be as a 16-year-old as a general helper in a geriatric day centre. Volunteering was part of the school curriculum after completion of GCSEs.  My next experience would be in 2021 when I was undertaking a CPD in Coaching and Mentoring provided by Reed.  They suggested getting involved in volunteering as a ‘Coach and Mentor’ to enhance my personal development.

This was when I met Emanuel one of the founders of Cre8 a non-profit organisation. He was looking for an individual with a ‘corporate background’, to be his listener, advisor and a ‘challenger’ for his ‘foundation aspirations’.


What got you interested in volunteering?  

It has to be Cre8.  The main form of our initial contact and engagement was online due to the rules of lockdown at the time. One of the many projects they run is kids' football sessions on Saturday mornings in Croydon. The location is on my doorstep. Lockdown rules started to ease and on a sunny, cold Saturday morning, we finally met face-to-face on the pitch!  The passion and commitment of Cre8 with the kids was inspiring, and I got hooked!


Any examples that come to mind when you enjoyed volunteering?  

Many examples come to mind:

  • The warm and welcoming environment at Bedzed (Cre8 Office base)
  • Volunteers, parents and the kids.  The respect and positive attitude towards the work Cre8 does.
  • Affirmation and recognition of the skills of the volunteers.
  • One that probably sits with me most, is the group of young people who started with Cre8 as kids playing and who are now involved as volunteers.

How does volunteering tie in with mental health in your view?

Volunteering at Cre8 is not just about football, it is about being relevant and enhancing self-worth and well-being by becoming involved in helping others within the community.


Anything you’d say to anyone interested in volunteering?  

Be open-minded, and find something that ‘speaks to you’.

Your experience, skills and time are invaluable and the rewards are heartfelt.


Thank you to Sara for her time.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Cre8 Football https://www.cre8football.com/ here are three roles they need help with:

BedZED was mentioned, especially their warm and welcoming environment. If you would like to be part of it here are two roles:

Read more roles to inspire you in our May Volunteering Opportunities Newsletter.

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If you're interested in a Volunteer Advisor session to find a role that interests you, click here for more information.