Dave Thomas, Volunteering Development Officer at NCVS, writes...
Over many years, we've seen that young people have a passion and enthusiasm to be involved in their community and make a difference through volunteering.
Here at the NCVS Volunteer Centre, we're keen to encourage Leaders of Volunteers to harness young people's desire to help and give back to their communities by considering how they can get involved in your upcoming volunteering programmes or short/longterm projects.
Volunteering is a great way for young people to explore their potential, gain new experiences, develop their confidence, and build on their employability skills.
A few examples of current opportunities we're promoting that are suitable for young volunteers include:
- Nottingham City Council - Park Volunteering - Young people of all ages are welcome to take part in this family-friendly volunteering opportunity which includes community conversation
- Bulwell Forest Garden - Gardener - Suitable for ages 14 and upwards, this opportunity includes a range of gardening activities centered around communal food growing and the creation of habitats for wildlife and environmental crafts
- The Shakti Anand Trust- Social Media & Online Marketing - with no age restriction, this opportunity could help young people develop their confidence and build on their employability skills
- YANA (You Are Not Alone) - Social Media & Publicity Supporter - home-based and with no age limit, this role is ideal for young people to use their social media skills to help raise the profile of YANA and the important work it does to support Iranian women in Nottingham
How can your organisation support young people to volunteer?
Young people often feel more comfortable volunteering in small groups, so could your organisation offer similar projects that mobilise their skills, enthusiasm and expertise to undertake a small (or large) project? Could you:
- Harness their IT expertise to create fresh graphic or text content for your social media or website?
- Gain valuable insights into how your organisation can reach young people more effectively by inviting them to take part in a focus group?
- Get extra help with running an event?
These are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can come up with many more.
Every year, we receive requests for short term volunteering projects for small groups, of up to six, young people, we also receive individual requests from young people who are undertaking, for example, the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Now that schools and colleges have reopened, we expect to receive more requests of this nature. Young people are looking for volunteering projects that can be as short as a couple of days or as long as a couple of weeks. You could even get college or university students for a term or a whole academic year.
As you plan your autumn delivery, please consider if a young person or a small team of young people could be an extra resource. These projects could be carried out remotely as well as on-site.
If you can offer a voluntary project or ongoing volunteering opportunity, to harness the enthusiasm and skills of young people, please let me know, email email@example.com or call 07564 040767.