‘ … Through volunteering with SNAP I have gained more confidence in a work place and it has helped me to think about going back into education. I have now signed up on a psychology open university course.’ A GwirVol Volunteer
For the past year SNAP Cymru have been part of an exciting opportunity with GwirVol – a Wales–wide initiative, led by the views of young people, encouraging more young people in Wales to get involved with their communities through volunteering. The project supported by WCVA aims to increase the number and the diversity of young people volunteering in Wales and to increase the number and accessibility of quality volunteering opportunities for young people in Wales to ensure they get the most from their volunteering experience.
SNAP have always been interested in recruiting young people to get in the habit of volunteering and see it as an excellent way of enhancing their skills and opportunities whilst also supporting our service. As an organisation we are proud of our volunteers and no more so than when we received recognition of their input when we received the Queen Elizabeth 2nd Award for volunteering.
To date we have recruited no fewer than 35 Young people as volunteers surpassing our original. It is fantastic to see so many young people getting involved and we would like to welcome them to the team.
These fantastic young ambassadors have been incredibly busy across Gwynedd and Sir Fon, they have designed and created leaflets, posters, and animations contributing to the Ynys Mon portage service, community information points and SNAP’s Facebook page and created person centred planning resources specifically to support the portage workers and to be shared with families. Some of the young volunteers have also participated in additional SEN training and provided information to families on the services available and passed on referrals to the casework service as appropriate.
The WCVA funded programme has allowed SNAP Cymru to work with Holyhead High school to identify 13 Young Volunteers in year 10 to participate in Respect Disability Awareness sessions, complete portfolios for accreditation, mentor other pupils at school and distribute information leaflets and Wmff! posters at the information points that they identified throughout the county.
9 Young people selected SNAP Cymru as their work experience placement for year 11 or year 12. Most opted for supporting staff in the Portage service with learning about and creating language resources. 1 enjoyed translating documents from English to Welsh along with writing a review about the Wmff Website and app. 1 artistic YP with the use her own animation software has been working a creating an animation for SNAP Cymru’s website and illustrations for one page profiles used in the portage service. This young person has also created the images for a series of leaflets for young people on advocacy, the Childs right to appeal and bring claims to SENTW and a children’s leaflet.
‘…Volunteering with SNAP Cymru has opened my eye’s to what i want to do for a career after I leave school’ A GwirVol Volunteer
2 Young people chose SNAP Cymru as their placement whilst at university (1 studying childhood studies and the other youth and community work) They worked to specific expectations on placement and after training and induction were able to represent SNAP at events, assist with parent contributions, support the helpline service, plan and co-deliver training and work with YP’s directly)
1 Young person came to volunteer for 3 months as part of the Bangor employability award, of which is an optional arrangement in between the 2nd and 3rd year at university. Again this young person outlined what she wanted to learn and experience and has supported with writing journey maps, completing case closure surveys and supporting the helpline service. This you person has been inspired after volunteering with SNAP to pursue a line of work in family support.
10 young people in total came to SNAP already employed, on an employment scheme or actively seeking employment. They used SNAP as an opportunity to gain further accreditation’s and experience in the either disability awareness or business support and administration. This group of volunteers have since continued as active community link volunteers maintaining community information points and disseminating information about SNAP Cymru. 1 has continued to volunteer few times a week supporting with administrative duties and managing community information pints.
All in all this incredible programme has benefited many young people will be young people who may have additional needs or who may be or at risk of becoming NEET and their families who will receive information and support from our young volunteers.
‘Thank you so much SNAP Cymru I cant wait to come back and volunteer during the xmas hols’ – A GwirVol Volunteer
Through the young ambassadors spreading the word through the medium of Welsh, young Welsh speakers will find out about Wmff and learn how to use it.
Wmff! aims to encourage young people to seek support and advice for themselves and covers a number of key areas identified as being important in their lives. The areas covered include bullying, exclusions, getting back into education, finding work and young people’s rights.
SNAP Cymru has a good reputation in delivering services to vulnerable families, helping children, young people and parents to engage in planning and decision making which affects them. We work locally with individuals and families to assist them in gaining appropriate provision to services including education, training and employment.
Of course the benefits of the WCVA Gwirvol project extends beyond the young volunteers and has a beneficial impact on professionals (working with families) the local economy. Volunteers receiving accredited training and experience which will assist them in future employment opportunities. The accredited training at level 2 can underpin other qualifications and also be part of a progression route and local Communities, through the promotion of the project the local community will benefit from increased awareness about the value of volunteering with the general public. This will lead to an increase of volunteering activities especially amongst young people.
If any you or any young people you’re aware of are interested in volunteering for SNAP Cymru, please have a look at our volunteering pages where you can see an outline of different roles and profiles of some of our young volunteers.