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Young adults tackling social issues

Volunteer Nelson’s week-long Young Leaders Programme kicked off on Monday this week for a small group of 16-24 year olds beginning their path to becoming accredited Level 3 youth workers through Careerforce. Gordon Oldfield, Volunteer Nelson’s Manager visited the group at NMIT midweek to hear how they are doing and to talk about volunteering and the experiences he has had with Volunteer Nelson.

The group of ten are learning about all aspects of project management and leadership, including ethics and risk management planning to attracting and managing volunteers as they help plan, deliver, implement and evaluate a youth-development project.  Gordon spoke to the group about Volunteer Nelson and volunteering in general and described the process around their forthcoming practical fieldwork. Each participant will identify a community volunteering project that interests them, recruit a further ten young volunteers to lead and manage through the project. They will also be expected to mentor a young person that will help build on their leadership skills. This will bring the reach of the programme to around 110 young adults over a six-month period.

“Young adults tend to have a sharpened sense of social justice, especially as they begin to see the issues that unfold around them as they experience life. We look forward to seeing what projects they come up with,” says Gordon.

Early feedback from the participants includes identifying projects that highlight issues around youth mental health and all aspects of self-care, to putting fun into fitness and healthcare, and projects that bring community volunteer staffing needs together with young volunteers passionate about particular community needs and activities.

Asked how they are enjoying the course and what they expect to gain from the experience, this is what they had to say.

“It’s a good opportunity to further my knowledge on how to help my community.”

“I have an idea, but was unsure how to start. I needed the skills and knowledge to take it further.”

“I wanted to learn about the different aspects of leadership in community, particularly in schools, and how to get others involved.”

“I want to find out if I want to pursue youth work. I hope to know the answer by the end of the course.”

“My Dean gave me the information, and I thought the course would be a good opportunity to gain knowledge to become a good leader.”

“I am enjoying… gaining knowledge, meeting new people, good food, gaining new skills like social interaction and teamwork, connecting with people.”

“I hope to gain credits to support my continuing into future Youth Work.”

At the end of the programme, the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work gained through Careerforce, will provide them with 45 credits and a pathway for entry into careers in the youth-development sector. Nelson’s 2019 programme is fully subscribed this year, but anyone interested in future courses, is welcome to get in touch with Volunteer Nelson. We are also currently working on presenting a Young Leaders Programme in Tasman over the 2019 Easter weekend. If you are interested in participating, please get in touch with us at Volunteer Nelson on 03 546 7781 or email [email protected]

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