Many young people are enthusiastic about volunteering, as they know it provides a good source of experience for their future. Young volunteers can bring fresh ideas, knowledge about the latest trends, enthusiasm, motivation and energy to projects. Having young people in volunteer roles can also help to challenge negative stereotypes and tends to be looked upon favourably by funders.
Breaking down barriers
Young people may have had to overcome personal and societal barriers to take the first steps towards volunteering. Many young people are also used to being surrounded by their friends in day-to-day activities. Therefore, doing something different, on their own, can be extremely daunting. It is important that organisations offer young volunteers lots of praise and encouragement, as well as other positive incentives to stay involved.
To foster great relationships with young volunteers, ask them what they hope to gain from volunteering and proactively work with them to achieve these goals. Provision of clear and concise instructions, payment of expenses, training, references and support to obtain Saltire certification can also help to keep young people motivated, making it worth their while to volunteer.