Volunteer of the Month: June

We love this time of the month: when we get to shout about our amazing volunteers and the quite literally life changing work that they do to help YCC run smoothly and effectively.

This month we are giving a very special THANK YOU to Luke Russell, who has been volunteering for YCC for a year and a half so far, as a telephone befriender.

We caught up with Luke to find out a little more about his volunteering journey.

  1. Name:  Luke Russell.
  2. Tell us a little about yourself? I live in Huddersfield and work for a manufacturing company in nearby Meltham. I spend most of my time on my main interests which are cooking (& eating!), reading, and attending live music events. 
  3. How long have you been volunteering for the charity? Just over 18 months. 
  4. Please explain your volunteering role in a nutshell: As a telephone befriender, I make weekly phone calls to some elderly individuals in the local community. After the first few calls of getting to know one another, these typically become nice informal chats to talk about anything which has been going on for them and myself recently, and anything else which might have been on their mind. 
  5. What made you want to start volunteering with YCC? I’d been wanting to take up a volunteering role for some time, but had struggled to commit myself to an opportunity. During the 2020 Covid lockdowns and the growing awareness of community loneliness, which was particularly acute in some groups including the elderly, I saw this role advertised in an email and felt I couldn’t help but commit some time to helping in any way.  
  6. Sum up a typical day of volunteering for you? The befriending role is great for someone like myself who works weekday office hours as I can easily fit the time into the sociable hours I have after finishing work. Typically, I’ll try to call straight after finishing my job for the benefit of my friends, and just have a natural conversation with them about what’s happened in the last week, and anything which they want to talk about from their lives – I planned my holiday in Scotland last summer around trips one of my contacts used to make and often tells me about – he has such fond memories of Arran we had to check it out! I’ll make the odd note during the call, and then once we’ve finished our conversation, update the volunteering app with the call details. 
  7. And finally, what advice would you give to people considering volunteering with YCC? The main thing is making sure you’re honest with yourself about what you can fit in and find an opportunity accordingly. The Telephone Befriending role really suits me with the time I am able to commit with work and other commitments, and building relationships overtime is very rewarding as someone who enjoys bouncing off people.  

If you feel inspired to become a telephone volunteer like Luke, or if you would like to volunteer in any way for our charity, please contact Lucy on 01484 519988 or email [email protected]

News Update: YCC Reaches out to Ukrainian Families Refugees with Job Vacancies

Refugees Welcome!

At YCC we support vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people, and their families.

It goes without saying that refugees can be extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged when they arrive in the UK.

Refugees experience conditions of vulnerability, marginalisation, and poverty, in addition to high stress of displacement, which can seriously affect health and wellbeing, in particular for women, children, and older people.

That’s why YCC are looking to take action quickly. We have been in touch with the DWP, to support their programme and offer work to people arriving from Ukraine and Afghanistan. Once employed by us, we will be able to mentor, train, support and develop any individuals, as we do with all of our staff.

We have many available roles currently vacant within our charity and would be proud if any refugee wished to apply for any of them.

We will keep you posted of any positive outcomes.


A “Refugees welcome” banner hanging on Madrid’s town hall building.

Thank You So Much: Companies Donate Unclaimed Client Funds

Did you know that companies can donate their unclaimed client funds?

Unclaimed client funds are sums of money which lie dormant in client accounts of many solicitors and accountants, for years. It’s often the case that the rightful owner cannot be traced, a company has closed or they have failed to provide instructions on how the funds should be dealt with.

Unclaimed client account balances cannot be used for any other purpose, so they can be a burden on annual audited accounts. If your business holds funds in dormant accounts, then we would be delighted to receive them to help us support the children, young people and their families that need us – and we can provide a suitable indemnity for individual client amounts exceeding £500.

In April 2022, two incredible companies did just that.

Ramsdens Solicitors donated £484.13 in unclaimed client funds.

Holden Smith Law donated £374.32 in unclaimed client funds.

YCC would like to take this opportunity to thank both Ramsdens Solicitors and Holden Smith Law for their very generous donations – and for considering our charity to receive the funds. These donations will play a significant role in allowing us to broaden our reach and deliver a positive impact to even more families in need over the coming months.

Learn more about how YOU can donate your unclaimed client funds HERE.

Meet the Team: Matt Lumb

It’s #MeetTheTeam time!

Name: Matt Lumb

Job Title: Food Tech Teacher

Time in the role: Almost 6 years!

What’s something people don’t know about you? I love cycling and gaming

Your role in a nutshell: I deliver practical food tech sessions, encouraging all pupils to understand cooking on a budget and also exploring foods from around the world. Pupils work towards completing a number of AQA unit award qualifications which develop their future independence and life skills, building confidence and self esteem.

Why do you like working for YCC? I enjoy working with a great team and helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

What’s one of your favourite work memories? Cooking Christmas dinner for everyone at Brian Jackson College (Heckmondwike) and just seeing the appreciation and enjoyment from all the kids and staff.

And finally, what advice would you give to people considering working at YCC? Be ready to think on your feet and ALWAYS have a backup plan.

Contact details: [email protected]


Meet the Team: Rebecca Whitehead

It’s #MeetTheTeam time.

Name: Rebecca Whitehead

Job Title: Financial Education Teacher

Time in the role: 2 years.

What’s something people don’t know about you? I used to be a tv/film extra!

Your role in a nutshell: I teach financial education to years 10 and 11 at BJC in Heckmondwike- this course gives them education on financial matters and how to be a successful adult once they leave school which includes politics, paying bills etc, I also teach finance, life skills and employability to year 9.

Why do you like working for YCC? I came to work at BJC for 3 months on supply and was lucky enough to never leave after gaining the permanent role in September 2020. It’s an amazing place to work, the college is like a family and every day is different, there’s always something going on to make you smile.

What’s one of your favourite work memories? When I returned in Sept 2020 after being on furlough since March 2020 (through supply agency) and I got a round of applause and a cheer from the students that I was back. It was wonderful.

And finally, what advice would you give to people considering working at YCC? You have to be prepared to go above and beyond every day, it’s never easy but it’s always different. I love teaching anyway but it’s so rewarding to teach at the college as the students need us and what we offer, so much more than in mainstream.

Contact details: [email protected]


Please vote YCC as Covid Hero

We are delighted to have been nominated for this award that shines a light on organisations that have continued to go above and beyond to help people in their communities during the pandemic.

We would like to thank all of the amazing YCC team of staff and volunteers whose dedication and hard work ensures that we are always here for the children, young people and families that need us.

We’d appreciate your vote – it only takes a few clicks & every vote really does count


Service Spotlight: The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP)

What is the DAPP?

DAPP stands for Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme. It is a 17 week programme that seeks to increase the safety of women and children, and the quality of life of everyone in the family, by working with men who recognise that they have been abusive towards an intimate female partner and who want to stop that behaviour.  Domestic abuse includes physical violence, emotional abuse, or any other form of coercive control. The programme runs alongside one-to-one support sessions to ensure men are offered a robust intervention.

YCC is fully accredited by RESPECT, the National Association for Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes and Associated Support. The DAPP is open to men aged 18 and over from any ethnicity or religious background.

What happens on the programme?

17 group sessions are facilitated to provide participants with insight into how their behaviour is abusive and how to learn non-abusive behaviour strategies to use to enhance and reduce risk within families and relationships.

ISS Victim support is offered to all victims whilst men are on programme and up to 3 months post programme.

This support offers a robust risk management and safeguarding which is tailored to each individual’s needs.

During the programme, participants will cover:

  • The damaging effects of blaming others for their behaviour and how to stop doing it
  • The wide range of impacts of abusive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships.
  • The (sometimes hidden) impact on children of a father’s abusive behaviour
  • How to be less reactive and prevent the actions of others affecting the choices they make
  • How arguments escalate and how to prevent escalation
  • How to recognise and stop abusive or controlling behaviour before it happens
  • How to avoid being trapped in destructive or repetitive patterns of negative thinking 
  • How to know themselves better so they can stay calm
  • How to take appropriate ‘time outs’
  • How to negotiate more effectively in a relationship


Research into RESPECT accredited programmes (like the DAPP) shows that most women and children feel significant improvements in their sense of safety after the man completed a programme of this type. This research also shows most women who had experienced sexual or physical violence from their partner stated that this violence had stopped after the programme.

Men who have engaged fully with the programme by attending all the sessions and participating with full honesty have told us they feel a great benefit from the practical skills and fresh perspective they have learned.

These skills and personal insights appear to improve their experience of life and can help them regain contact with their loved ones and build a safer environment for them.

Men also report they have experienced significant encouragement and support from meeting and talking with other men, helping them see they are not alone in their struggle and that progress and change is not only possible but is merely a matter of making better and more informed choices.

Other intervention services: 

The DAPP Service also facilitate other different types of intervention as and when funding is available to roll out different types of Programmes to fully encapsulate the broad spectrum of risk and types of Domestic Abuse.

We are currently facilitating a DAPP 17 Week RESPECT Accredited programme to the Urdu & Punjabi speaking community. This is delivered by dual speaking facilitators, which also captures the complex issues of domestic abuse attached to some cultural beliefs held by perpetrators within this community.

The additional services will be updated on the site when available with details on how to access these.

For full details on the DAPP, click here to visit our website.

Meet The Team: Tony Kirton

It’s #MeetTheTeam time.

Full Name: Tony Kirton

Job Title: Maintenance Coordinator

Time in the role: 5 Months

What’s something people don’t know about you? Home is like a farm with all the dogs and cats!

Your role in a nutshell: Fix things (or ask other people to!)

Why do you like working for YCC? I’ve always enjoyed having a go at various projects at home – building, plumbing, etc. so it’s like a bigger house here with more varied (and stranger sometimes!) requests!

What’s one of your favourite work memories? Finally navigating the buildings and not getting lost!

And finally, what advice would you give to people considering working at YCC? Make sure you wear a Fitbit (alternative makes are available!) so you don’t waste walking up and down the stairs!

Contact Details: [email protected]


YCC’s NEW Website

On 15th March, YCC launched their new, modern website: www.yorkshirechildrenscentre.org.uk

The website was a much needed modernisation to the old site, and allows YCC to not only reach out to supporters and volunteers, but also to act as a platform for potential service users to access important information that can really make a difference!

Our top 3 favourite things about the website are:

  1. The Our People page – where you can get to know our Trustees, Leadership Team and Managers, viewing their hobbies, and – the best bit… their old baby pictures

2. Our Superhero images – that show children as we see them… SUPER!

3. Our Volunteer With Us page, where you can find out about the MANY MANY ways that you can get involved with YCC and support a GREAT cause!

YCC would like to take this opportunity to thank supporters Martin Port, from Big Change, and Daniel Todd from Proactive Code, whose kindness and generosity has enabled the charity to create the new site.

We would like to send an extended thank you to Mark Crow and the rest of the team at Proactive Code, who worked with us almost every day over the last four months, to get the website completed over a short period of time and to an excellent standard.

Martin Port, from Big Change, left this message for the YCC team.