Volunteer Nelson would like to congratulate all Volunteer Nelson Young Leaders and Youth and Community Works, for the recent win at the prestigious Trustpower Community Awards. The Nelson Tasman Volunteer Nelson Young Leaders took out the 2017 Regional Award in the Education & Child/Youth Development Category. The award came as a surprise and luckily Volunteer Nelson Manager, Gordon Oldfield and Board Member, Soheil Ighani were there to receive it on behalf of everyone. Holly apologizes to all Young Leaders for not making them aware they were in the running!
The Young Leaders Programme was first developed by Sally Wood in 2009 when she received a Vodafone World of Difference Grant under HYPE-GS (Help of Young People at Events and in their Gathering Spaces). Sally went on to develop the Social Enterprise, Youth and Community Works in 2015. It was in 2016, during a Department of Internal Affairs Internship with Volunteer Nelson, to build capacity and knowledge around volunteering programmes, that her and then Volunteer Nelson Manager, Katy Steele, saw the scope to make volunteering a more major part of the programme.
Young Leaders complete a Level 3 NCEA Qualification in Youth Work accredited by Careerforce. They learn about groupwork, leadership, project planning and management, mentoring, ethics and Aotearoa Youth Development Principles. As part of the qualification, and the Volunteer Nelson conditions for providing the free qualification, the Young Leaders complete a Youth Development Project which includes 10 – 20 additional youth volunteers (aged 12-24).
The programme has a wide reaching effect. In the last 2 years we have seen over 45 charities benefiting from the work of the Young Leaders and their teams of volunteers. This has included fundraising, supporting/running events, creative projects, environmental projects, mentoring and supporting the delivery of various services and programmes. One example has been the creation of volunteering groups at three of the local high schools. The groups are VolunteerNCG at Nelson Girls College, NCBros, at Nelson Boys College and MAD (Make a Difference) Waimea at Waimea College. These groups champion volunteering and promote volunteering opportunities to students.
The programme would not be possible without funding. We have been supported by the Ministry for Youth Development, Department of Internal Affairs, The Rata Foundation, The Tindall Foundation, Nelson City Council and Tasman City Council. The future of the programme, and continuing to make it accessible to all young people will depend upon achieving the funding required each year. The Rata Foundation made a video earlier in the year to highlight the programme and the Nelson Tasman Hospice Container Painting Project in particular – see here.
Many of the young people have used the programme to lead into other opportunities. One young woman who excelled at the learning component of the programme especially, and has gone on to study a degree in Social Work at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. One of the first Nelson Young Leaders, Amy, saw the poster for the programme at Nayland College towards the end of her final year and was encouraged by a teacher to attend. She has gone on to become support staff for this year’s programmes while also working part-time at a youth drop-in centre. She mentors participants with their projects, supports delivery during the training week, and at the most recent training, delivered the whole afternoon session on mentoring to the group.
If you would like to find out more or would like to register your interest for a future programme, please contact Holly Drummond – [email protected], @hollyvolunteernelson, 03 546 7681. Follow Volunteer Nelson – Youth on Facebook for updates.