Here, we have stories from two of our volunteers, Jane and Steve.
What particular role do you volunteer for and what skills do you bring to IYC?
I am a volunteer youth adviser and have a Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills. I have personal experience and knowledge in regards to helping others to overcome various mental health issues, phobias, autism, suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol and homelessness issues. I have also had training and receive advice from my colleagues.
I have volunteered as a Youth Adviser with It’s Your Choice for over five years. I focus on helping young people with education, employment and training options in the broader context of supporting their emotional health and well-being. I am a trained and qualified Careers Adviser who has worked with many different young people and adults aged 13-25 over the years in schools and the community, including those seeking employment and training.
What interested you about It’s Your Choice to decide to volunteer with us?
I wanted to help children and young people who are having difficulties as I believe everyone deserves a good start in life. I felt this could be achieved with IYC as their aim is to specifically help children and young people to have a brighter future by helping them to cope with the diverse issues that they may face in their young lives.
I chose It’s Your Choice because it served the New Forest area and that’s where I come from originally. I also heard some good things about it, like it’s ethos and values and the training and support available.
Was there a particular appeal for you to volunteer for a Charity?
I have many hours of free time and wanted to put it to good use. Over time, others have helped me and so I wanted to give something back.
I like to give something back to my local community and to young people who sometimes are misunderstood and receive uncalled for bad press.
What impact do you think that volunteering can have on a local community?
Volunteering in the community can help build communities by creating wellbeing, trust and a sense of belonging for all. Volunteers can help in providing services, advice, support and by sharing their skills. Volunteers have a diverse wealth of knowledge, experience, skills and understanding which they are willing to share and offer freely. Therefore, enabling both individuals and organisations within a community to benefit.
I think volunteering is an important role and that contributing time alongside paid staff can be very beneficial to all concerned.