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Southern Brooks Community Partnerships

Volunteering with Young People

Hello, my name is Kevin and I volunteer at Patchway Youth Centre.  I work with the older young people and I’m also paid to do some detached work in Patchway, interacting with young people out in the community and promoting what we do – as well as promoting Southern Brooks as an organisation.

I’ve been volunteering for about a year.  Our activities are led by what the young people want to do – such as sports or games – and I’m put where I’m needed.  I got into this through the Youth Worker.  I was at a bit of a loose end so just offered my services.

I hadn’t planned to do youth work but now I’m doing it, I really enjoy it.  I enjoy interacting with the young people and seeing the positive effect it has on them.  It gives me a sense of wellbeing because I’ve never done anything like this before.  I can see we make a real difference, especially through detached work, where we can build up a rapport with young people who might otherwise be doing nothing – and they respond really well to us.  We have some ‘harder’ days but its worth it in the end.

I’ve had lots of support from Southern Brooks staff and colleagues at the Youth Centre, especially around my role.  Its definitely been a learning curve!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Southern Brooks activities and I’d recommend wholeheartedly getting involved.  100%.  It looks good on a CV and you’re doing something worthwhile, making a difference in people’s lives.  When I see young people being pleased to see me, it makes me happy too.

Hello, my name is Kez and I volunteer at Patchway Youth Centre as part of my Health & Social Care course, but it has become more of a hobby now because I enjoy it so much.  I’ve been doing this for about seven months now and spend my time with young people, doing sports, games and talking through different scenarios that young people face.

I started a block placement for my college course in Brooks cafe at Coniston Community Centre, and when Southern Brooks saw how well I engaged with people, they offered me a volunteering role in the Youth Centre for a day.  One day progressed into two, which progressed into three.  But now I volunteer two days a week.

I enjoy helping to shape lives.  Puberty is one of the times when people grow fastest mentally.  Plus they have all the hormones to cope with.  It’s a hard time for young people but I enjoy supporting them through this and helping them prepare for the future.

I get a lot of satisfaction from working with young people.  Yes, it can go on my CV but that’s not why I’m doing it.  Making a real difference in young people’s lives is what I enjoy.

You definitely ‘hit the ground running’ here but there’s lots of support.  I shadowed colleagues at first, then took on some activities under supervision.  Feedback helps me understand the areas I need to develop and where my strengths are.  Reflecting on this advice helps me improve and the manager is always available if I need her.

Everyone here is really nice and available to talk to if I need it.  I really enjoy what I do and I don’t think I‘ll be changing this anytime soon!