To celebrate Student Volunteering Week (19-25 February), the Volunteer Centre at the Torbay Community Development Trust has pledged to work in partnership with local secondary schools across the Bay to spread the awareness of volunteering, demonstrating youth social action at its best.
The Volunteer Centre is working in line with the nationwide #iwill campaign, which promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds, this includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves. So far more than 700 business, education and voluntary sector partners have committed to embedding social action within the lives of young people.
The Torbay Community Development Trust will recruit and support ‘School Volunteer Ambassadors’ in each secondary school. The aim is to help raise awareness of the benefits of volunteering for both young volunteers and local organisations, whilst promoting local volunteering opportunities.
Jo Reed, Volunteer Centre Development Officer at Torbay Community Development Trust, said: “Volunteering can open up so many opportunities for young people, from developing skills and confidence to creating a much needed sense of responsibility for the area they live in.
“Research has shown that children undertaking volunteering activities from a young age, with strong support networks in place, are more likely to develop a habit of lifelong service. With a collaborative approach we hope to empower these young volunteers to work together and make a real difference in the local areas they live in”.
More and more organisations are appreciating the value or younger volunteers. Laura Rugg, Volunteer Officer for the National Trust, said: “It’s great to offer work experience and volunteering opportunities to young people. While it takes a while to plan and make sure that you have structured well managed tasks to ensure both sides get the most from the experience, the benefits of having enthusiastic younger people engaging with our visitors and challenging our current team outweigh the time needed to set up a suitable placement.
“Our older or longer serving volunteers enjoy mentoring and engaging the next generation with our beautiful heritage and places.”
There is lots you can do to help social action become a part of life for more young people. You too can make a pledge as an individual or organisation. To find out more visit www.iwill.org.uk and follow the campaign on social media.
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