More than 500 volunteers from across the UK as well as Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland gathered at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre in Stone, Staffordshire, on 1 and 2 June 2019 for an enlightening leadership convention. The event aptly coincided with the start of National Volunteers Week in the UK.
The aim of the convention was to help volunteers strengthen their spiritual understanding and personal devotion as they serve other devotees in their respective centres and local communities.
Swamis shared their spiritual wisdom by delivering a series of motivational discourses drawing upon the teachings of Hindu scriptures, Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the exemplary lives of the Gurus who have served with compassion, humility and uncompromising dedication.
A series of innovative video presentations crystallised these concepts by offering practical perspectives from a variety of fields. Delegates were also offered an opportunity to share their personal reflections and ask questions to further consolidate their learning and development.
Various interactive workshops were organised to supplement the auditorium sessions in which delegates explored skills and techniques to improve the quality of their seva. These tailored sessions also included a team-building activity which harnessed communication, unity and provided a platform for volunteers from different countries to engage with and learn from one another.
An inspiring and introspective video message from Mahant Swami Maharaj brought the Convention to a climactic conclusion. He emphasised the importance of imbibing unity, strengthening one’s personal satsang and fostering a higher level of spiritual understanding.
The weekend proved to be an enriching experience for everyone who attended. Sheetal Gandhi, a young volunteer from Preston, shared, “Meeting and learning from so many dedicated karyakars from all over the UK and Europe was so rewarding. But what inspired me the most was learning again how much our gurus Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj have done for us and the devotees. It [the Convention] has definitely made me want to go back and do more to serve these devotees too.”