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Youth Service celebrates young helpers

27 July 2011

20 teenagers who have trained to help other young people in youth projects have successfully completed a formal volunteering qualification.
It's the first time this has happened within the Youth Service.

The 15 to 18 year olds have taken part in the Young Worker Programme, which provides training similar to that for adult volunteers. The scheme has existed for a number of years but was extended across the Youth Service for the first time this year after previous young workers said they thought it was valuable.

This year:

  • 30 young people registered as young workers
  • 23 young people started the new training programme
  • 20 completed a Level 1 Community Volunteering Qualification

The new qualification means young people will get recognition for their extra learning and new skills.

“More than 900 hours of volunteering have been carried out by our young workers in the past year, which is an invaluable contribution to the Youth Service. The qualification means they will now get some concrete recognition in return which they can add to their CVs and show to potential employers,” said Deputy Youth Officer Mark Renouf. “The Young Worker programme helps to train potential youth workers of the future but it also provides positive role models for the younger people who come to youth clubs.”

The helpers who undertook the qualification had to compile a portfolio to illustrate their work and experience and complete a minimum of 30 voluntary hours a year. As part of the course they covered a range of topics that included understanding what volunteering is about, health and safety for volunteers and communication, listening and teamwork skills.

The young workers themselves identified that they had learned:

  • how to be trustworthy 
  • young people behave in response to how they are treated
  • how to respect each other
  • how to manage emotions
  • how to manage time
  • how to be confidential and what things shouldn’t be shared
  • how to make a toastie and how to work a till

The young people have also volunteered to be involved in training and supporting young people of their own age who sign up to next year’s programme.

Nathan Le Mottee, the senior youth worker at Maufant Youth Project, says the scheme has been a great success. Young workers Curtis and Sophie agree.

Curtis said “The programme has given me the maturity and responsibilities of working with young people”.

Sophie said “It’s given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience of being a young worker.”

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