Young people making a difference in communities – #iwill week

It takes people of all ages and backgrounds to build strong, inclusive communities. In support of #iwill week, a UK-wide campaign to champion and celebrate youth social action, we’re celebrating the various ways that young people are volunteering their time across our programmes: standing up for local causes, sharing their skills and inspiring others.

Community engagement

Earlier this year, young people involved in our Carmarthenshire Time Credits programme volunteered to ‘takeover’ the Parc Y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli, organised in partnership with Kids in Museums. The volunteers all attended a community citizenship design session, and came up with activities that families could do together before the rugby match started. 15-year-old Holly got involved because she wanted to help more with children around her community:

“I did arts and crafts with the kids, and made gingerbread,” said Holly. “Community is something that should be cherished and not taken for granted.”

Digital inclusion

As part of the Living Well Living Better project delivered in partnership with Rossendale Borough Council, students from Whitworth High School in Rossendale volunteered to run digital training sessions for a group of older residents that live locally in sheltered accommodation.

Over each two hour session, the residents, aged 57-93 years, were guided on how to use tablets and smartphones, in order to help them keep better in touch with their friends and family.

One resident described the workshop as ‘an uplifting session’ while another said all her ‘questions about Skype and Facebook were answered by the young people.’

The need and enthusiasm for digital training was identified following feedback given in various scoping sessions conducted by the Spice team. All the student trainers earned Time Credits for their contributions and Spice worked with Newground Together, a local community organisation running a youth project, to spread the word of how to get involved!  

Taking pride in the local area

Elizabeth, 13, has been volunteering with Cardiff-based charity Ace (Action in Caerau & Ely) for the last four years. She began earning Time Credits by accident after she and her mother were handed some for helping out with a local litter pick. Once Elizabeth learnt how the currency worked, she was keen to get more involved.

“I love the fact that I can take my friends to the cinema by using Time Credits that I have earned through volunteering. This gives me a great sense of pride,” she says.

“I have helped out at lots of events held by Ace, but my favourite has to be Ely festival as I get to meet and talk to lots of community members.”

Elizabeth recently decided to encourage her friends join in, so that they could start earning Time Credits too: “ We’re hoping to spread the word of having pride in our community,” she says.

Read in Elizabeth’s own words her experiences of volunteering for Ace and getting involved with Time Credits