Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

SYA – thinking ahead

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Solent Youth Action started life as the Eastleigh Millennium Volunteers (MV) project. The charity was started as the result of identifying limitations with that project, and expanding on it with complimentary projects which, over time, became larger than the MV work itself.

But that heritage does show through in our aims and objectives which talk about “empowering young people to develop as individuals … through volunteering whilst making a positive contribution to the community”. We are first and foremost a youth volunteering organisation.

The last year or so have been very successful for SYA, and with v funding secured for the next three years, the immediate future looks good. But what happens next? How should we continue to grow and develop?

One approach that we’ve been discussing this week is whether we should moving beyond purely volunteering. We already have a number of objectives in trying to help the young people that we work with: around their personal development. This can be emotional development, it can be skills development, it can be educational, it can be career-focused… with an underlying theme throughout of helping young people. But always, this is done through volunteering activities.

What if we removed that restriction, and focused more generally on helping young people develop?


Me & U

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I don’t often blog about work that we do in Solent Youth Action. Not sure why. Perhaps because the best stuff we achieve isn’t normally something tangible I can pick up and show people.

But today it is – because today I got a proof copy of a booklet that we’ve produced that I wanted to share.

Me & U (“My Emotions Understood”) is a project we’ve been running with the Brookvale Youth Mental Health Team. The idea was to work with young people who have experienced mental health illnesses and support them to write a book of thoughts and poetry that could raise awareness of mental health issues. Through the production of the booklet, we supported the young people to try and explain the emotional experience of a young person with mental health issues.

They’ve managed to produce a stunning booklet that is as moving as it is informative. It’s an amazing achievement and, I think, very unique.

When I try and explain what “Solent Youth Action” does, people sometimes find that it isn’t what they might have first expected from a youth volunteering charity. I’ve blogged before that “volunteering” can take many forms, and this is another fantastic example.