Our volunteers are mentors, guest-welcomers, cake bakers, car drivers, school workers, project team members, listeners, milkshake-makers, life-changers. They're young and old, loud and quiet, dads and grandmas. Some have experience in working with young people through their jobs; others bring different experience and skills. All are essential for the work we do.
Volunteers often give a few hours regularly each week but some give more, and other are only able to help out from time to time. There are different roles and jobs that suit your availability.
Most of our volunteer opportunities are in Luton so you'll need to live close enough to travel to Bute Mills. One exception is Alumina, our online work with young people who self-harm. This specialist work is always done alongside our staff team and does require some experience and skills - but you can live anywhere and still get involved.
As you'd expect for an organisation working with young people, we have a recruitment process that ensures we follow The Luton Safeguarding Children Board's 'safer recruitment' guidelines.
We will support you as you volunteer, offering an induction, training and monthly supervision. We want your time volunteering with us to be helpful for you, for us, and importantly for our young people.There are three main ways to get involved:
- Direct work with young people in Luton, alongside our staff team, at Bute Mills or in schools.
- Direct work with young people online as part of our Alumina self-harm support programme.
- Help with other aspects of Youthscape like finance, reception, maintenance and administration.
We simply couldn't do what we do without volunteers. So we'd love to hear from you if you want to get involved in making a real difference to young people's lives and put your time and skills to good use.
In 2018, Youthscape received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK and equivalent to the MBE. The award recognises the outstanding contributions made our local communities by Youthscape volunteers. We're incredibly proud of this achievement and of the volunteers who have been recognised in this way.
Wondering if you've got what it takes to be a volunteer?
There's no blueprint for who can be a volunteer, but there are some values that we believe are essential, especially where you're working face-to-face with young people. You'll share our commitment to equality and diversity, treating everyone with dignity and respect regardless of colour, disability, ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, religion or beliefs. You'll need to be ready to listen, sensitive to young people's experiences, cultural background and beliefs. You'll be focused on the needs of the young person, first and foremost.
On the other hand, you don't necessarily need to be up-to-date with the latest music, social media or Netflix drama. Young people won't expect you to be the same as them - you're an adult, after all. So don't imagine that all volunteers have to know everything about the cultures and interests of teenagers.
Our Christian ethos
As a charity founded by Luton churches, our shared faith is in the very DNA of who we are. It's the reason we do what we do; it's why we are passionate about supporting and caring for all young people of all faiths and none. Our volunteers at Youthscape are usually members of local churches, so that they join with us in prayer, and so we stay united as a team in our practice and vision for supporting young people. If you fit that description, and you have a genuine concern for young people, we would love for you to consider volunteering with us.
How to find our more and apply
Our volunteer recruitment process starts with you getting in touch with Gemma, our Engagement Manager at [email protected] or call her on 01582 748953. You'll be able to talk about where you're interested in helping and hear a little more about what might be involved.
We ask volunteers to complete a simple application form - don't worry, it's not intimidating - and attend an interview. We'll also ask for some references and, where required, carry out checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Before you start, you'll get any training you need, and find out about our safeguarding policy and procedures - vitally important where young people are involved.
Finally, you can come along for a taster session to see what it's like before committing to becoming a regular volunteer.
Many of our volunteers love the opportunity to meet and get to know the Youthscape team. They tell us they feel welcomed as a vital part of the organisation. We celebrate volunteers through lots of special events and social activities throughout the year - so you become part of the Youthscape family and have the chance to meet new people and forge lasting friendships. Its all part off what it means to be a Youthscape volunteer - so why not get in touch to find out more?