If you are between 14 and 25 years old and are currently volunteering or thinking about it, there is lots of information and advice out there for you. Volunteering is about making a difference in your community and being an important part of it, so of course it is about what you can do for your community. But it is also about what you can get from the experience.
GwirVol (www.gwirvol.org) is an initiative for young people aged 14-25.
GwirVol’s core aims are to:
Increase the number and the diversity of young people volunteering in Wales.
Increase the number and accessibility of quality volunteering opportunities for young people in Wales to ensure they get the most from their volunteering experience.
GwirVol seeks to be the leading group on issues that effects youth volunteering and be the “go to” for such issues, campaigns and research.
You’re probably wondering how GwirVol can manage to do this on such a scale that it covers the whole of Wales. Well, GwirVol, looks to support young people to get involved in volunteering and this is done through a number of ways.
There are 22 part-time GwirVol Youth Volunteering Advisors (YVA’s) that are based in the volunteer centres around Wales. The YVAs are there to offer advice and information about how become a volunteer. They are here to talk to about what you want to do and what you want to get from your experience. They have a range of volunteering opportunities available that you can look at and they can get you in touch with the right organisation for you. Youth volunteering advisors are also local delivery partners for Millennium Volunteers (MV) Award and can register you as a Millennium Volunteer and get you started on your journey to achieving the 200 hour Award of Excellence.
Millennium Volunteers (MV) is an award programme supporting young people to make a commitment to volunteer for 200 hours in their community. It encourages 14-25 year olds to build on existing skills and interests and to gain new experiences by giving their time to worthwhile and well-organised volunteering activities. Their efforts are recognised through a 50 and 100 hour Certificate and 200 hour Award of Excellence signed by the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government. As an young person you can register to become an MV through your local youth volunteering advisor or through you My GwirVol profile.
GwirVol’s You Give You Get is a publication detailing a number of recognition and award programmes in Wales that young volunteers could be eligible to take part in. You can download the document from the GwirVol website or request a hard copy from GwirVol.
In each county in Wales, Youth Volunteering Advisors have supported the set up of Local Youth Led Grant Panel’s. These are groups of young people from the local area who are allocated up to £5,000 to distribute through grants to local youth led volunteering activities. Every area is led by the ideas and needs of young people and the panels themselves decide on the criteria for the grants, the priority groups and the application process but they are all aimed to develop youth volunteering and seek applications from projects lead by young people themselves.
GwirVol aims to support young people and as a part of this has developed a number of resources including;