STEER participants create art from twigs in the forest

Volunteer opportunities for young people made possible with Youth Led Grants

Published : 22/02/21 | Categories: Volunteering |

STEER share the positive impacts of the Youth Led Grants on their youth volunteering projects.

Based at the edge of the Llynfi Valley, the 37-acre Resource and Wellbeing Centre at Tondu House Farm provides an engaging but tranquil setting for all ages and abilities to use. STEER is currently hosting a range of activities and opportunities that support some of the most vulnerable members of their community and wider.

Young volunteers at the centre are offered a wide range of opportunities linking to career goals and aspirations. Each young person is provided with a Personal Development Plan, to support any needs and barriers to learning, and support positive progression.

With the help of Youth Led Grants administered by BAVO in Bridgend County, 20 young people were supported into volunteering. Some of these students were close to exclusion but this opportunity to engage in the outdoor centre has provided motivation, pride in their own achievements and something to look forward to.

They have maintained positive behaviour in a school setting to ensure they attend the volunteer programme at STEER. Three young people, who were on the brink of exclusion at school, achieved full attendance every week on the volunteer programme.

The youth volunteering project also had a profound positive impact on mental health among young people. 12 young people were referred to STEER from mental health support services and have since received very positive results.

Volunteering for them has provided a release from stress and escalating anxiety and volunteering in the outdoors has provided an ideal setting to support wellbeing.

‘A RELEASE FROM THE STRESSES OF EVERYDAY LIFE…’

Two young people furthered their volunteering journeys at several conferences to provide a young person’s voice in their own community where they shared their own experiences of poor mental health and the positive impact of volunteering at the centre.

These two young people also attended a conference with the local Health Board and have since become young people representatives on the board.

‘The Youth Led Grant has provided us with a further learning zone which has allowed us to support those with complex needs,’ says Tracy Mills, the CEO of STEER.

‘Our volunteers tell us that attending our volunteer sessions has released them from the stresses of everyday life and improved their own wellbeing,’ she added.

YOUTH LED GRANTS

Distributed by CVCs across Wales, the Youth Led Grants support a range of small volunteering projects and activities led and carried out by young people. In 2020/21 the projects were funded to address six priority areas identified by the Welsh Government which have the potential to make the greatest contribution to long-term prosperity and well-being.

To learn more about youth volunteering in Wales, please register for ‘Making youth volunteering awesome in Wales! where we’ll be exploring best practice and how we can ensure positive experiences for youth volunteers.

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