Volunteer Coordinator Kim Davies reflects on her first 13 weeks within a Youth Work charity, and asks how she can tackle youth loneliness at the same time overcome the barriers of working in a rural area with limited public transport?
I’m sitting here on a Tuesday afternoon, in my thirteenth week of a new job role. The position is the part-time Volunteer Coordinator with Carefree Cornwall – an amazing Cornish Youth Work charity who work with young people (ages 11-25 years) who are in and leaving care. Our volunteer project is funded by The Co-op Foundation as part of their ‘belong’ project and I have the exciting task of recruiting and training volunteers and supporting them in their journey of volunteering to tackle of youth loneliness.
Carefree is a Youth Work charity first and foremost and to have a volunteer co coordinator in their organisation is a step change for them. Comparatively, all my previous roles have been working in an inner city area – so it has been a new challenge for me to be working in a rural area and the differences in the barriers for young people.
The work here at Carefree focuses on supporting the young people we work with to develop a stronger sense of self and place, build resilience through identity and increase confidence and self-esteem through inclusive group work – that is our mission. The charity has a range of approaches already in place to achieve these social and personal development goals. But as the Volunteer Coordinator I have been contemplating these social and personal objectives can continue through the volunteering project ‘belong’ in tackling loneliness for young people who have left care.
For example, how can young people attend social events in a rural area with limited public transport? How can I measure the impact of this? How will I work with young people to become volunteers to support other young people with similar early life history?
Thanks for reading and I would love to hear from you.