Youth volunteer for the St Vincent de Paul Society, Daniel Ingledew, has been rewarded by the charity organisation for his dedication to helping children in southern Brisbane, recently receiving a Vinnies Value award from the Society’s Queensland CEO Peter Maher.
Daniel volunteers with the Society’s Youth’s Soccer Stars program. He was involved in founding and establishing the program which brings together children aged 8 to 11 years old and from various backgrounds for free fortnightly games of recreational soccer on Saturday mornings.
The 21-year-old volunteer has a reputation among the children and his fellow volunteers as someone who always goes the extra mile for the participants and families involved in the program, as evidenced by his attendance at 25 Soccer Stars mornings in 2017.
As part of his ongoing commitment to volunteering, the Brisbane resident was also a leader at one of the Society’s kids’ camps and during a trip for Soccer Stars participants to a Brisbane Roar match. Daniel offered his time while completing an honours degree in psychology at the University of Queensland, from which he recently graduated.
Daniel explained that it’s the smiles on the faces of the Soccer Stars participants that drive him to give up his time each fortnight. ‘I just enjoy playing soccer with the kids. You can see how much fun they are having and it is just really fulfilling that we can make their day in a sense,’ he said.
‘We can bring them a really fun morning and see the smiles on their faces, knowing that we are making a difference to them and their parents as well.’
Daniel said his involvement with Soccer Stars came about after speaking with St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland Youth Engagement and Development Officer for Brisbane, Anthony Forshaw, after being involved with the Society in high school.
‘I met up with Anthony a few years ago and he mentioned that he had this idea of starting up Soccer Stars, so I got involved from day one, which was really cool,’ he said.
‘At my high school they had a Vinnies group and I started with that when I was in Year 9 because it appealed to me and I really enjoyed it and enjoyed all the activities involved with it.
‘Then after I finished high school I was looking to get involved again, so I got in contact with Anthony.’
Anthony said Daniel was a worthy winner of the Vinnies Value award.
‘Dan works with all the children in an unconditional, enthusiastic and positive manner, with the aim of increasing their self-confidence. He has also mentored new Soccer Stars leaders, providing them with guidance, support and leadership skills,’ Anthony said.
Soccer Stars supplies shin pads and socks as well as morning tea. Daniel said it gives the children involved a fun and active morning each fortnight which can have a real impact on participants’ mental and physical wellbeing.
‘It’s such a simple thing really, playing soccer with them every second Saturday, but it does make a difference—they tell us that and we can see it in their faces as well,’ he said.
‘The kids just want to have fun. They are not looking to make big life choices or anything like that, they just want a break from it all and sometimes just playing soccer gives them that.’