"You’re doing such an amazing job with the youths you help and I think they are responding really well to it. The few that I was able to engage with were happy to talk about their aspirations etc and they gave me the impression that they certainly wanted to improve their future prospects, they just needed someone to believe in them. As you know, when I first started, I was really apprehensive about what to expect and a little scared!! But as I got to know them and build their trust, I was overwhelmed by the way they welcomed me, their politeness and their eagerness to engage. I began to look forward to Tuesday evenings and catch up with them so it really taught me that underneath all the layers they wear and the roles they act out, they are just individuals trying to find their way in the world. Going forward, I’m continuing on with my counselling course and will be qualified in 2 years. This is the age group that I want to work with so it was a huge step forward for me to work with the youth group. So, I want to thank you so much for that opportunity because without it, I wouldn’t have had the courage to pursue my path."
We rely on volunteers to support the running of many of our groups and projects. Volunteers are important to us because we recognise the value of community members building relationships with young people. We believe this helps to build inter-generational relationships within communities, connects young people with opportunities and networks that we as a staff team couldn't resource and provides a long-lasting link for young people with their wider community.
The most important factor for us here at WAM is not so much previous skills and experience as a heart for and understanding of young people, and the willingness to connect with them. WAM Youth follows a safe recruitment process with all its staff and volunteers including taking up references and an enhanced DBS check.
This valuable role involves working 1:1 with a young person. The key principle of our mentoring is the transformative power of safe and positive relationships. The role of our mentors is simply being there to support a child or young person consistently over a period of around 12 months from when you are matched. Regular time commitment is 1 hour per week contact, 10 minutes recording notes, and some short meetings throughout the year to supervise and support you in your role.
Community Youth Volunteer
We have a variety of roles available at our youth groups, including helping in the kitchen to prepare drinks / snacks, helping to run art / craft / cooking activities, and helping to supervise games and activities. It may involve summer holiday clubs, drop-ins, or going out into the community or on outings. If you have a special skill or interest, you could bring that along! Regular youth groups currently run Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6pm, with a 6-month commitment required.
Woodland Youth Volunteer
Supporting our youth workers in running 1:1 sessions for young people who have been excluded or are at risk of exclusion from school. In this role, some experience with working with young people with challenging behaviour is ideal, but not compulsory. Weekly 10am-2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. We also have school groups that enjoy activities in the woods on different days throughout the year. 6-month commitment required.
Woodland Maintenance Volunteer
Anything and everything woodland related! Wood-splitting and timber processing, log store building, woodland furniture making, conservation help etc. There’s literally a job for everyone with or without forestry skills, including simply collecting sticks for the charcoal burner. Ad-hoc as and when you are available.
Skills Share Volunteer
Would you like to help out with our youth groups or woodland projects but aren’t able to commit to regular or long term volunteering? Do you have a skill or interest that you could run a series of workshops for young people? E.g. computer coding, bike maintenance, cooking, arts or crafts, mindfulness, writing, entrepreneurship, woodwork, sewing, upcycling furniture, music etc? We’re always looking for local community members to help us provide a wide variety of experiences and skills development for young people. Who knows you might spark an interest that sets a young person off on a new journey!
Training, support and DBS check is provided for all volunteer roles.
I’m interested! What next?
Email us at info@WAMYouth.org.uk, and we will invite all potential volunteers to a scheduled webinar to meet our project leaders, and give you the opportunity to find out more information and ask any questions.
If you wish to proceed, we will ask you to complete an application form, undergo a DBS check, and invite you to interview. All being well, you will receive the necessary training, complete an induction, and start volunteering with WAM youth! This whole process should be completed in a few weeks. (Please note, the mentoring recruitment process has a few additional elements and inevitably takes longer. You would be welcome to volunteer at our youth groups in the interim.) We look forward to having you join our team!
Please also contact us if you are able to provide a volunteer service that is not mentioned above.
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