Youth Volunteering

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Youth Volunteering by Mind Map: Youth Volunteering

1. Commitment

1.1. Achievement

1.1.1. Generally, young people report gaining and valuing new skills and qualifications much more highly than other age groups. (see link page 13) Better self-organisation, particularly time management and meeting deadlines;improved behaviour, including patience; and dealing with stress and anger management. (see link page 29)

1.1.2. Young people certainly perceive volunteering as enhancing their employability. (see link page 13)

1.2. Status/Influence/Esteem

1.2.1. Participation has been recognised by many young volunteers are being enjoyable, boosting self-esteem. (see link page 14) As a result of their volunteering, they feel good about helping others, and therefore better about themselves, an d believe that they are valued by other people. (see link page 26)

1.2.2. Many young people also stress the experiential learning provided through volunteering, the ‘learning by doing’, which reinforces their sense of their own abilities. (see link page 26)

1.2.3. One survey found that only 15 per cent of young people agreed that their friends would laugh at people doing voluntary work, whereas 46 per cent disagreed.(see link page 5)

1.3. Social/affiliation

1.3.1. Participation has been recognised by many young volunteers increasing the awareness of community and diversity and as having an impact on socio-political views. (see link page 14)

1.3.2. Teamwork, making friends,’ You get to be around all different people and people of different ages’ (see link page 33)

1.4. Safety

1.4.1. Within the UK all three main political parties have focused on youth volunteering as a potential corrective for young people going down the path of political apathy, anti-social behaviour and long term unemployment. (see link page 13)

1.5. Practicality

1.5.1. Young people commented that they were worried about the costs associated with volunteering for example having to pay for their own travel and accommodation. (see link page 3) Expenses to be reimbursed. (see link page 9)

1.5.2. Lack of time was also considered an important issue. Some of the young people felt that many opportunities are not flexible enough to fit in around education or employment. (see link page 7) Lack of time appears to be a strong barrier to volunteering, volunteering opportunities should aim to be flexible by offering a wide range of tasks and activities. (see link page 9) also see link page 14 Life stage and work status also impacts on the barriers that act against involvement in full-time volunteer work. Those in full-time work were more likely than average to cite financial concerns as a reason not to volunteer.(see link page 25) Nearly half (45%) said that gaining skills and experience related to their work or career would encourage them to consider volunteering full time(see link page 28)

1.5.3. Also important was the availability of physical space to deliver activities and this was recognised as a key barrier to the delivery and continuation of volunteering activities. (see link page 6)

2. Competence

2.1. Skills/capability

2.1.1. Organisational Volunteers need to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their contributions; (see link page 10) The factors that contribute to the retention of volunteers include rewards and recognition. Recognition should occur frequently and consistently, in a variety of forms, such as awards, certificates and ceremonies (see link page 10) Lack of flexibility within available volunteering opportunities (see link) Young volunteers may want to be involved not only in deciding how to do things, but also in deciding what to do. An organisation that has a relatively closed decision-making process will have trouble attracting and motivating young volunteers. (see link)

2.1.2. Individual Some drawbacks to volunteering were, however, cited including: ‘get bored or lose interest’, ‘feel that my help is not really needed’ and ’feel that volunteering is becoming too much like paid work’ (see link page 12) The young people also stressed that in order to attract young volunteers; organisations must also promote themselves as dynamic and attractive places to volunteer (see link page 9)

2.2. Knowledge

2.2.1. Organisational “Organizations who want to include more youth in theirvolunteer programs, must become ‘youth friendly’. (see link page 3) Provide meaningful and worthwhile volunteer assignments for youth. (see link page 3) Provide on-site supervision and support for youth volunteers during the time they are volunteering.(see link page 3) Provide flexibility – both in regards to time commitment as well as assignment. (see link page 3) Young people are particularly sensitive to being 'talked at' or 'talked down to'. They will expect meaningful duties, not ad hoc tasks that nobody else in the organisation wants to do. This doesn't mean that young people shouldn't be asked to do routine tasks; however, these tasks need to be shared by everyone in the organisation not just flung at young people. (see link)

2.2.2. Individual Many young people report that one of the biggest barriers to volunteering is that they don’t know how to get involved and take action on the issues they care about ( see link page 12) There is a need for more promotion of volunteering positions. A nationwide advertising campaign could help towards overcoming this barrier. (see link page 11) Young people suggested that additional initiatives should be taken by voluntary organisations, schools, colleges and universities to ensure that young people of all ages and different backgrounds, can easily access volunteering information. (see link page 9) The advice and guidance provided by adults and peers was therefore a key factor in facilitating youth-led volunteering. This was particularly important in providing practical advice in terms of project planning and support with the logistics of projects (see link page 4)