Volunteers – Youth Programmes
About the Youth Programmes:
Our Youth Programmes are broken into age specific groups:
- The Ozanam Youth Groups are open for all children from the age of 6 to 13 years with a maximum number of 45 registered in the groups.
- The Senior Youth Service is open for young people from the age of 13 to 18 years with a maximum of 20 young people registered in the groups.
These groups are multi activity social and skill based programmes that give children and young people a chance to find their hidden sometimes buried talents in a safe, fun, learning and social environment. The young people not only develop skills, but also develop new lifelong friendships and a respect for themselves and those around them as well as an enhanced sense of self-worth and belief that is immeasurable in today’s society. They achieve this with the support of our volunteers who work with us to create this safe environment.
Overview of the Volunteer Role:
Each week, we organize activities such as cookery, computers, arts & crafts, sports and music to name but a few. The volunteer leaders support the young people in the activities, engaging with the young people, acting as mentors and role models throughout.
Perhaps the most important function of the groups is the educational and community support that is offered by our volunteer leaders. This support aids and assists the personal development of the children and young people in the centre.
Our Volunteers not only support the children and young people but also each other. This support means volunteers are able to share their learning in the role and to benefit from each others experience, sharing knowledge and skills.
To reach our full potential and to achieve our goals in the group, we are constantly seeking new volunteers to support the youth co-ordinator deliver a quality and professional programme to the children and young people ensuring a standard level of safety and fun environment within each group.
Tasks for Volunteers:
- Attend the Child Protection Training session.
- Attend team planning meetings each term.
- Help prepare for the groups.
- Take part in activities and spend time with the children and young people.
- Be a role model for the children and young people and help them with their activities.
- Supervise the group together with other volunteers.
- Attend outings and trips to provide support to co-ordinator, if requested and if available.
- Attend and contribute to debriefings after the classes with other volunteers.
- Work as part of a volunteer team within a really supportive environment where everybody helps each other, giving and taking ongoing feedback and support between all volunteers.
- Attend team meetings every term to assist the co-ordinator with planning, organising, developing and running the programme.
- Support the implementation of restorative practice as a procedure for conflict resolution in the group.
- Volunteers with talents, skills and qualifications in specific activities are encouraged to teach classes if comfortable doing so, with the support and guidance of the coordinator.
- To attend meetings and training days if/when applicable.
- To follow the policies and procedures of Ozanam House which can be found in the induction pack or in the office.
- Other general responsibilities in the context of the role as agreed with the co-ordinator.
The group takes place on the following days:
Ozanam Youth Groups
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00pm to 6:30 pm.
Senior Youth Service
Wednesday and Thursday from 7:15pm to 8:30pm.
Our expectation is that volunteers commit to one group on one day – 2 hours each week (the exact times and days of working will be agreed between the volunteer and the programme co-ordinator).
The volunteer should commit to a minimum period of nine months. If the volunteer knows in advance that he or she can only commit to a shorter period of time, the volunteer should let the coordinator know.
Skills Experience and Qualities:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish good relationships with children and young people.
- Strong commitment and enthusiasm to children and young people and an understanding of the factors affecting their lives.
- Interest and commitment to developing the capacity to provide reliable support to children and young people in times of stress and act with integrity, respect and support.
- Good organizational skills.
- Good level of energy and good commitment to having fun.
- An accepting and non-authoritarian approach.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Reliability, patience, resilience and flexibility.
- Ability to treat children and young people’s concerns with respect, tact and sensitivity.
- Ability to be aware of own limits, to admit it and to ask for support.
- An openness to learning and developing further good practices when working and supporting young people.
- Previous experience is desirable but not essential.