27 January 2012
The volunteer workforce that helps Jersey Youth Service has expanded to more than 300, thought to be the highest number ever.
Education, Sport and Culture Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan has praised the team of Islanders who give time to help young people. “This huge team play an incredibly important role alongside our qualified youth workers. Without their support we could not provide the range of services and opportunities for young people that we do. They are some of the Island’s unsung heroes and I would like to thank them for their contribution,” he said.
Principal Youth Officer Mark Capern explained “The Youth Service currently has 142 adult volunteers on its database who are working face-to-face with young people. This does not include the 130 volunteers that are involved in the 21 youth project committees around the Island.”
There are also 48 ‘young workers’ registered with the service. They are people aged 15 to 17 who have typically attended youth projects themselves and decided to stay on and work with other young people. They work towards a formal qualification that is recognised and that they can add to their CV.
Mr Capern added “Youth work volunteers get a great sense of satisfaction from knowing they’ve made a positive difference to young people. As well as talking and listening to young people, they get involved in a wide range of activities, from abseiling to Rock School, so it’s fun as well as rewarding.”
The Youth Service provides compulsory training for all volunteers. It’s a foundation course called Youth Work Essentials gives people all the information they need to be able to work in the service.
The course includes:
- safeguarding and child protection
- learning opportunities for young people
- equality and access for all
- making sure the youth work environment is safe
- giving young people a voice - so that they play an active part in decision-making
The Youth Service is always recruiting and takes every opportunity to promote volunteering. In the last 12 months the service has used Careers Fairs, Jersey Live, presentations at Highlands College, and leaflets placed in public locations to recruit volunteers.