Last year, a very special volunteer at Bideford youth centre passed away. Gina Scoynes had been volunteering with us for a long time and grew to become a very special part of the team.

Here are a few words from her colleagues:

“Gina was the most dedicated volunteer I have ever come across.  She never missed a session and would get very cross about closing for any reason! Whenever she came in to see me, she came in fast and low. Within seconds she would be in my space and looked like she meant it. ‘Cup of tea?’, ‘Yes please’ and everything was calm again.

Gina cared so much about the young people in the centre. She was old school. If things were kicking off, if someone was being bullied, if a young person was in trouble, she would be there. Her sense of justice was fierce. Many times I tried to sit her down and suggest she take a back seat. It never went down well, aha.

In staff meetings she would hold back… until she couldn’t! Gina always wanted to help. Ask her to do something and she wouldn’t hesitate!

Gina wanted to be involved. She loved the music room and would be so full of praise for what some of the young people could do. She loved karaoke, cooking, jokes and board games. But most of all she loved Clubasize – dancing in the dark to crazy loud music with glow sticks!

Gina loved coming to the youth centre. She loved the young people, and she loved the team.

We loved Gina.”

To commemorate Gina, the hours she contributed to the centre & to celebrate the unique character she was, we invited Local Councillors Linda Hellyer and Peter Christie to join us at the centre with our volunteers and youth service staff.

Along with us we also had Arthur and Linda, Gina’s parents. We unveiled a heart-shaped plaque carved by staff and entirely in her honour.

The plaque celebrates the amazing work of our volunteers and highlights the impact Gina had within the centre, and most importantly – the wider service! Over the coming years this is something we can add to, and further celebrate the people who commit their time to us in order to help us deliver the work that we are very grateful to do!