Uckfield Volunteer Centre is launching a project to place young people into “suitable and carefully matched” volunteering roles.
This week the centre, at 79 High Street, next door to Final Score Sports Shop, is extending its opening hours to cater for any young people who may be interested in getting involved.
It will be open an extra hour during afternoons, from 4-5pm, and on Saturday morning from 11am to 1pm.
Laura Fletcher, one of two youth workers at the volunteer centre – the other is Stephan Butler – said volunteering can help with employability and give young people the opportunity to learn new skills or support their interests further.
She added children from as young as five years right up to the age of 25 are welcome to get involved, especially those not in work, education or employment at the moment.
The centre is also keen to hear from any organisations that think they could have any meaningful and interesting opportunities that could be offered to a willing candidate.
Any young person below the age of 18 will need parental permission, and anyone under the age of 16 will need to be supported by a responsible adult when volunteering.
Laura says the volunteer centre adheres to a Safeguarding Policy and youth workers have completed current safeguarding training and are DBS checked.
During the extended opening hours youth workers will be on hand to meet and chat with young people, and there will be a hot chocolate and cookie for those registering their interest for notifications of future opportunities.
In July the centre will host an awards ceremony called Celebrate Youth to thank all the young people who have volunteered successfully.
Laura said: “We will be asking the local community to support this by providing nominations for these awards, and for local business to sponsor an award.
“We are hoping that the community spirit and good nature developed as a direct result of this project will continue to develop and grow and remain part of the Uckfield Volunteer Centre as time goes on.”
The volunteer centre project is part of a nationwide #iwill campaign which believes many more young people are interested, and willing, to take part in social action but might not necessarily have the opportunities, knowledge, or skills to support them.
Over the last few months Laura and Stephan have created databases of opportunities, and information packs for local primary and secondary schools so they can work together to make a difference in the community.
Anyone unable to get to the volunteer centre this week but who is interested in learning more about the project is invited to email Laura at youth firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more here on the volunteer centre website.