Many of our volunteers have ‘grown up’ within our provision. This sense of service is at the core of MYDG’s ethos. The opportunity to be supported to become a positive role model for peers and other young people is one that many of our young people can easily identify and others articulate as an aspiration.
Local volunteers and staff are key to our organisations ability to be responsive and at the heart of the needs of local young people and community. The community values the support, training and employment opportunities that we have provided for many years.
Our volunteers meet on Thursdays 4-6pm to get together and note down their learning, receive training & find out what opportunities are available to them. They are completing a portfolio of all their work so it can be used as reference in the future!
What does a Volunteer do?
Not all of the young people who access our volunteer programme or engage with northern lights wish to pursue employment or a career working with young people. However our volunteers gain invaluable experiences that build confidence, communication skills, accountability and independence.
A volunteer works closely with staff to provide a diverse and exciting programme that includes open provision, project work, outdoor learning and residentials. Activities may include rock climbing, cycling, arts, leadership courses, cooking, mountain biking, swimming, table tennis, football, fitness, environmental activities, exchanges, peer education, canoeing, events, music and working closely with the schools.
How can volunteers get involved?
Casual volunteering: Young people attend clubs as volunteers to build relationships with staff, young people and gain experiences that will enable informed decisions regarding employment and education. Volunteers move between projects, partners, age groups, outdoor/residential experiences and training to maximise their learning.
Northern Lights: Project northern lights seeks to engage young people not in employment, education or training in a programme of volunteering, 1:1 support and outdoor/residential activities. The project is in partnership with 2 organisations. Ocean Youth trust who are dedicated to youth development through adventure under sail and WildFox Events, a private outdoor events company committed to social responsibility particularly in relation to employment of young people.
Link to Project Northern lights website. www.projectnorthernlights.org
European Voluntary Service (EVS): For the last 12 years, MYDG has been hosting and sending EVS placements. These experiences add a unique dimension to our organisation that fosters the understanding of citizenship, difference and acceptance. We supplemented these experiences with regular European exchanges that are often staffed and supported by our volunteers.
What next after Volunteering?
MYDG supports all of their volunteers to gain experiences out with our own agency. Our support is offered to ensure each individual maximises these opportunities and builds upon their independence and employability.
These experiences often rely on our strong partnerships with other organisations which have included, EVS placements, CSV placements, outdoor education centres, sports leisure centres, apprenticeships, international exchanges, full time employment, football coaching and many more.