Young, Gifted and Committed: Engaging young people in volunteering
This report evaluates the engagement of the young people in the volunteering programme of Vitalise, a national charity in UK. It covers all aspects of volunteer management, highlights relevant issues for young people and points to what young people themselves think about their volunteer experiences.
Extract from the Executive Summary:
"Vitalise is a national charity providing essential breaks for disabled people and carers, and holidays for visually impaired people. The charity mainly operates through five accessible Centres in England – in Nottingham, Southport, Southampton, Essex and Cornwall. Young volunteers have played a key role in helping to deliver services to Vitalise guests for over 40 years. They are essential for the success of the organisation.
"The principle and practice of integrating young volunteers of all backgrounds with older volunteers of all backgrounds in one shared environment has been fundamental to the success of Vitalise’s volunteer programme over the last four decades, and sets it apart from many other programmes where ‘special projects’ are often seen as the only way to engage young people.
"Each year Vitalise engages over 2,000 young volunteers in actively supporting ‘vulnerable people’. Together they provide over 5,000 weeks of care and support. This scale is unique within the respite care sector. Volunteering with Vitalise has a profound effect on young people, their futures and those around them...
"Vitalise works with volunteers in a variety of roles including those of trustees, local committee members and fundraising supporters. This report is centred on the way Vitalise works with residential volunteers. These are volunteers who live-in at the Centres (usually one or two weeks at a time) providing support to the disabled guests and carers. They enable guests to have choice, opportunity, and independence and gain maximum benefit from their holiday experience."