It's good to be part of this BAD - Blog Action Day organised by VONNE (Voluntary Organisations Network North East) to highlight the important role that volunteers play in society.
Children North East currently has 96 volunteers, and the number is rising all the time. This is many more people than we employ. For over 30 years we have been recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to befriend parents and young people in need. Some volunteers have gone on to professional training courses and become paid staff for Children North East.
Our 'Youth Link' projects recruit young people (often students) to mentor other young people in some kind of need. For example young people falling out with their parents; on the edge of anti-social behaviour; lacking friends or having difficulty joining sports activities or social clubs because of conditions like ME and autism. The real strength of Youth Link is that it is much easier for young people to relate to someone close to their own age. These projects are highly valued by the young people and families who use them.
Volunteers save the public sector money. For example Youth Link volunteers have been commissioned to support young people with learning difficulties and other special educational needs to learn how to use public transport to get to school or college instead of taxis paid for by the local Council.
The training we offer our Youth Link volunteers is accredited so that they get a recognised qualification as well as learning about other young people's lives and experience of helping them. Whether the volunteer pursues a career in the helping professions or not the experience is a valuable addition to their CV.
Children North East is currently recruiting young people to two new Youth Link projects both in Newcastle. If you are interested please visit our website: www.children-ne.org.uk/volunteering