SVC’s Young Carer’s Project received funding from the Cardiff Youth Led Grant Panel. Lead Volunteer, Kelly talks about her experience on the project.
Kelly first got involved with Skills & Volunteering Cymru (SVC) in 2018 when she came across the project while looking for a placement as part of her university course. Before going to university she had been a young carer herself and had also completed a childcare and education qualification and the project instantly felt like a perfect fit.
As Lead Volunteer Kelly’s role is to lead the project, support volunteers and beneficiaries and liaise with staff and partners. She also plans and prepares activities for their beneficiaries, for example arranging with families to get the ingredients to their homes for a baking session. Kelly has set up the zoom sessions during the pandemic, ensuring everyone can get online and take part safely.
‘If I had to describe volunteering in a few sentences I would say that volunteering is work not paid with money, but paid with smiles, laughter and change. The impact you can make on someone’s life is far greater than any financial gain.’
After completing her placement hours, Kelly continued as a volunteer because of how worthwhile it was and hasn’t looked back since. When the pandemic began, she saw how much need was out there and decided to continue her role supporting the young carers whose caring responsibilities had often increased due to the restrictions.
THE DOUBLE BENEFIT OF VOLUNTEERING
Talking about what she’d gain as a volunteer, Kelly said: ‘Volunteering has given me confidence to talk to new people and massively helped me to get onto my master’s degree and my summer internship in America. Volunteering has challenged me when working in a team, working on my own initiative and managing difficult situations.’
Kelly’s experience as a lead volunteer also led to an opportunity to be on the board of trustees for the charity, learning about operations, funding, benefits and challenges.
‘I also believe my volunteering role has had a positive impact on others, I often receive feedback from the families regarding the positive impact this project has on their lives and how they cannot imagine living without it. The young carers often tell me how much they love the project and how nice it is to have friends that have a similar home life to them.’
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 find Volunteer opportunities in your local areas visit volunteering-wales.net.