Full notes from workshop 3... making a positive contribution

Workshop 3 –Making a positive
contribution: (44 participants plus presenters)



points from the input from young volunteers from Youth A.I.D. Lewisham (
Therri, Troy,
O’dean, Cerri, Shauna)


The importance of volunteering:


  • Volunteering can be vital to those that cannot evidence their
    skills in other ways
  • Volunteering can be a means to develop skills that people wouldn’t
    otherwise have the chance to develop – such as teambuilding, exercises, outdoor
    activities, groupwork, leadership etc
  • Have done things this past year that wouldn’t have done otherwise
    – gone places / met people / been taken out of comfort zone…
  • Volunteering has enabled me to do things that wouldn’t have
    imagined doing two years ago…


How to improve volunteering:


  • Make it automatic for young people – make it a compulsory experience
    How can you know what it can do
    for you unless you experience it ? – even if its only for one day?




points from Youth Act:


Carrie Supple:

  • ‘The world is run by people that turn up’ – Gary Younge
  • YouthACT – package of traaining focussing on campaigning skills
    – developed from US
    model - about to be available to free in all London Boroughs
  • Additional training the trainers manual…
  • What works? adults and young people working together, clear focus
    on skills, use of residential events,
    make it sociable!


Brandon Palmer:

  • First involved after Carrie came to local project. Was part of
    a mixed group of young people looking at teenage pregnancy / parenting
  • Ended up being four guys… did survey > produced report >
  • Key features of YouthACT training: pizza!.. cool style…
    opportunity to get more involved…activities…team building.
  • Where it has led me? Grant-making, decision-making, public
    speaking… Getting involved in my
    community has led to involvement in the wider community. Gained the confidence
    to move into acting as a career…






discussion points:

  • Surprised about the proposal from the Lewisham young people to
    make volunteering compulsory – isn’t the issue how to make it more (sufficiently)
  • What incentives are needed? Award events
    go a long way towards this – certificates from volunteering often mean
    more to young people than more formal qualifications…
  • Example from a participant that has learnt English through
    their volunteering during the past two years…amazing how life can change
    through a few hours per week…



made the Lewisham young people get involved in volunteering in the first place?

  • Friend being killed – was close to being kicked out of school –
    now care about my grades (just taken GCSE’s). Moved from being a disgrace
    to my mum being proud…
  • Used to live a life of monotony – used to lose track of time… Volunteering
    keeps you focussed…takes me to new places all the time
  • Used to just sit on the wall waiting for my mates to come along…now
    I’m involved in loads of things…
  • To make my mum proud…



the value of certificates?

  • Sense of achievement and evidence for what have been learning…
  • Part of wanting to go higher…importance of incremental
    experiences… of gaining the confidence to get where I now am / am going…



to get young people involved in their communities?

  • Have to challenge adults perceptions about young people and how
    adults behave towards them…use technique of getting older people to relive
    their memories of being young to make sure young people get listened
  • Run ‘participation in action training programme’ on rights,
    beliefs, attitudes etc. Whole process designed to be empowering… includes
    accreditation…young people now help write the materials…(Devon)












messages / discussion themes to take forward to day two…


  • Whether volunteering should become compulsory for young people as part of their personal
  • Understanding young people’s motivation for volunteering is critical – could compulsory elements be included or
    would this undermine involvement?
  • What should young people do after
    their education is finished
    at 16 – stay on? volunteer? Undertake
    National service?…
  • How to recognise and
    young people’s achievements in the community
  • How to challenge negative
    and change peoples’ views?
  • How do we get more young
    people volunteering - making voluntary opportunities more appealing so more young people will be interested
  • What support structures
    and resources
    are there out there? For young people / for
    organisations wanting to involve young people?
  • Where are the progression
    for young volunteers?





statements / assertions

  • You cannot get all young people to volunteer unless they know it will benefit them…
  • Volunteering has most impact on young people’s terms, not on government terms
  • Young people should have the right to the opportunity
    to volunteer and to feel part of
    their community - working alongside all community members and not in
  • Providing the opportunities should not fall to any one agency – more collaborative effort is needed…
  • Volunteering should be linked
    to each Borough’s LSP
    with young people acting as peer advisors
  • Don’t underestimate the power of formally recognising the achievements of young people via certificates
    and award celebrations
  • Accreditation is
    clearly important
    to young people – why do we
    offer awards like the Youth Achievement Award but not qualifications like
    key skills?
  • Communities need to create
    (more) opportunities
    for volunteering – linking it to personal
    development and social awards
  • Young people can be very inspirational
    as community leaders when given the opportunity to achieve and
  • How to encourage more
    young people to volunteer
    ? Tell people how much you enjoyed it and how
    you benefited – convince others – you are already doing a great job





  • How to replicate the
    success of projects like YouthAID across London
    /  England
  • How to change the image
    of volunteering to engage ‘hard to reach’ young people
  • How to let local and
    national government know
    more about these projects
  • Ensuring young people gain
    from volunteering (personal not financial)
  • Highlighting the benefits
    (skills, activities of interest to the individual, chance to meet people,
    certificates etc)
  • How to encourage young people to spread the message to others – they are the most convincing
  • Recruit a friend campaign?
  • Talking to young people that are not volunteering about
    volunteers experiences!






Average: 3 (1 vote)
Added by tim at 06/25/2007 - 17:37