Thinking about taking on young volunteers?

You may have started to get enquiries through from people asking if you will take on a 14 – 16 year old because, yes, it’s that time of year again when the young people partaking in the Duke of Edinburgh need a placement!

If you have been considering it, below are some handy tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you are against it, but curious, then the below might just change your mind.

Depending on the award the young person is doing they will need to commit to a certain number of hours / months:

  • Bronze: 3-6 months
  • Silver: 6-12 months
  • Gold: 12 – 18 months

Which is great as you know roughly how long they should be with you and hopefully they will want to stay on and do lots more too!

Why take on a young volunteer?

  • They can bring new, fresh ideas and perspectives
  • They are often very enterprising and keen to learn as much as possible because it looks great in their CV / UCAS applications
  • Including young volunteers in your organisation may mean you are able to apply for different pots of funding

Small changes you can make to ensure your organisation is young person friendly:

  • On your volunteer recruitment page you could include an inviting line like “If you are 14-16 and passionate about volunteering with us, but can’t find a role that takes your fancy, we’d still love to hear from you so we can have a chat and see if we can find something that would work for you and us.”
  • Invite them for a trial session: If you don’t already do this with your volunteers then it’s a great way to try things before they make the commitment and for you to see if they are a good fit.
  • Partnering them up with a ‘buddy’, like another more experienced volunteer, for their first few sessions can be a great way to help ease them in and create a supportive environment.

If you have any questions or need some more ideas on how to make your organisation more young person friendly, please do get in touch!