Across Wales, the power of young people is strong. Across the Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) network we see young people every day that step forward to make their local communities, their nation and their environments better places to study, work and live.
Prior to the coronavirus, young people were active contributors as peer mentors, befrienders to vulnerable people, sports coaches, fundraisers, ambassadors, conservation volunteers, awareness raising champions and many more. Many of these young people, did not let the coronavirus or the lockdown restrictions get in their way, finding more innovative ways to support their neighbours, friends, communities and demonstrate their love for the planet.
Let’s take a look at some of the things, young people did, to be there when needed
- Project Hope
- Scouts Cymru – Walk to the moon
- Young Ambassadors have kept their passion for coaching and leadership alive through a range of approaches
- Milford Haven Youth Forum
But remember, we are also celebrating the large-scale contributions young people made as volunteers prior to the coronavirus. At this years’ first ever, youth led online film festival (InUnity), young people from across Wales submitted films to showcase what they do to make a difference to Wales. Check out three of the entries, that best highlight what young people have done in Wales.
- Being a young ambassador: https://inunity.cymru/being-a-young-ambassador/
- Champions of Wales: https://inunity.cymru/champions-of-wales/
- Volunteer impact story: https://inunity.cymru/effaith-gwirfoddoli-volunteer-impact-story-elis/
Alongside this, Wales has a strong network of Youth Led Grant panels that allocate funding for youth led social action in every county across Wales. As we recognise what young people have done in the last twelve months as volunteers, we must also give a special shout out to the Youth Led Grant panels.
During the last twelve months, the Youth Led Grant funds have enabled £238,205 to be allocated across 205 projects. To make this happen, 89 young grant makers awarded the funding to the projects. An extra 1334 young people were involved in delivering the projects. Wow!
To hear more about what it’s like to be on a Youth Led Grant panel – check out this film by the panel in Wrexham
In 2020/21, £118,750 has been allocated across the network of Youth Led Grant panels to fund youth led social action across Wales. To find out more about how you can access these funds contact your local CVC, details are below.
WCVA embraces the #PowerofYouth
WCVA has embraced the #PowerofYouth by welcoming young people as Volunteer Champions, a new initiative which is being piloted, supporting young people to contribute their creativity and passion to WCVA’s volunteering team. In April, WCVA welcomed Emma and Iris to join the team and will be contributing hugely to Volunteers’ Week as they take part in a volunteer takeover.
Iris, one of the volunteers, has also created a film to highlight young peoples’ involvement in volunteering.
Iris shares, ‘There are many reasons (and then a few more reasons) for why young people choose to volunteer, from developing skills and gaining work experience to connecting with like-minded people. The film highlights how young people across Wales and beyond make a difference together.’
Watch the film here to feel empowered by the #PowerofYouth; ‘a completely new world you didn’t even know existed.’
Want to involve younger volunteers?
As you have seen above, young volunteers bring oodles of passion, motivation and energy to the organisations and causes they choose to volunteer for.
If your organisation would like to tap into this and what to know how to involve young people well, download the ‘Youth Volunteering and Social Action Charter’. Plus, watch out for our soon to be relaunched ‘Involving young people as volunteers’ information sheet.
For local guidance on developing roles suitable for younger volunteers or for support to advertise opportunities, please contact your local CVC – a list of contact details can be found here