|Community :: Youth Work > Solent Youth Action|
I was involved in the creation of Solent Youth Action, a new youth work charity intended to encourage and support young people to volunteer and be a part of their local community.
Solent Youth Action
Solent Youth Action is an independent, youth-led charity which aims to facilitate the positive voluntary contributions made by young people (aged 25 years and under) to their community.
This is achieved by providing young people with access to good quality volunteering opportunities and supporting them to realise their own projects and ideas.
The intent is for the new charity to deliver the national Millennium Volunteers (a national Government program) model, while supplementing it with projects which extend the remit and address areas which the national scheme does not.
These include supporting young people who have greater support needs in order to be able to get involved in community projects, such as those under the age of 16 or those with mental or physical disabilities - groups difficult to include with the national model.
The charity was set up by a combination of local professionals and young volunteers.
A strong emphasis is placed on the direction being led by the young people it aims to support - many of the projects are youth-led, with notable successes including a youth club for physically-disabled teenagers set up and run by two disabled girls who thought there wasnt enough support and opportunities for them in their community, and a cultural youth club for indian and asian teenagers allowing them to gain a better understanding of their culture and heritage and to promote a wider awareness of this through public concerts and dances.
What is being done?
Setting up a new youth-led charity has been a challenging thing to attempt, and the committee and project staff have all learnt about issues together. This included creating the concept, designing how it is going to work, writing a business plan with financial requirements, fundraising for it, marketing it, and generally ensuring that it is viable, and issues such as the creation of a constitution and application for charity status. It has also included the recruitment and management of a number of new staff.
Millennium Volunteers (MV) is a national Government-funded initiative which aims to encourage and support young people to volunteer in their community, and receive recognition for the work that they do.
The objective is to enable young people to get more involved in their local community. By encouraging young people to find ways to get involved that they can enjoy, and supporting them to make it as easy as possible, young people will hopefully even continue with this in the future, hopefully helping to build local communities.
There are MV projects across all regions of England. Most are run by voluntary sector groups, such as volunteering centres, but many are run by public sector organisations, such as colleges, universities, and local authorities.
The national initiative provides funding to these various local organisations, in return for them delivering a scheme based on the national model.
The basic model involves rewarding new volunteers based on the amount of volunteering done - with rewards after 100 hours and 200 hours.
Last updated: 6 Nov 2005
design: Dale Lane
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