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Young Leicestershire doesn’t only offer support and inspiration to young people, to youth clubs and organisations.

Volunteers

We’re reliant on the priceless contribution of a small army of over 2,000 volunteers – who can in turn take a great sense of achievement and community involvement from working with our groups.

Business Benefits

And our local business partners all report lasting reciprocal benefits when staff volunteer their time to work as a mentor or at a young people’s club, developing their own skills and active citizenship.

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Leicestershire voices

Here’s just a tiny cross-section of the thousands of people involved with Young Leicestershire: club members and youth workers, business partners, YL team members and volunteers…

What My Youth Club Means To Me

“For years I’ve wanted a place to escape from the stresses of home. I’ve always seen other communities with youth clubs and I’ve been envious. When I saw an advert for the youth club here in my school I was extremely excited to go and ever since my first night I’ve been trying to get more people to come. I love this youth club because I can talk to the leaders about problems I have, plus I meet new friends and have surprisingly interesting discussions about quantum physics and the fabric of reality – just ask Cara (our responsible leader!).
The youth club really benefits me, my friends and the community – in a nutshell, everyone. Times are really tough now and I know things are changing, so with a youth club for people like me to come to it is a real privilege. Usually we play a version of tag called last man standing or pool, cooking, art, gaming, crafting, sports and lots more. I don’t actually go to the typical school most of us go to but I still managed to make friends. We’re a really varied youth club with equality, just like on the song ‘Equality street’ 😀 All in all, this is a great place, and with more support from the government it’ll be even better.
Joel – Glenfield Youth Centre, Member

Time Just To Be Young…

Our groups have been in existence for 10 years now, and we’re now in our second year of funding from Children In Need.

The groups have changed in composition during the year, which has strengthened the ethos rather than dilute it, with residentials providing a good platform for team building.
This is an excellent project with young people benefiting from time to just be young, having fun and gaining a respite from their responsibilities. Evaluation undertaken with the group has prompted comments such as:

Vox Pops…
Interviewer (one of the group): “How has the group changed your life?”
Group member: “I think I’m taller! Ha! I have more friends and people to talk to.”

I think the best evidence of how the group members view their participation was the self-referral that took place earlier in the year. One of the existing group members recognised a school friend – someone who had the role of a young carer – then mediated between the group leader and the friend to gain them a place. He is now a regular member and gaining the valuable support needed.
We will need to focus this year on continuing this group and seeking additional funding with the support of Young Leicestershire

Andy Oughton – Group Leader, Eyres Monsell Young Carers Group

Beckie: Why We Do What We Do

Beckie came to Young Leicestershire’s group as a Young Carer over 8 years ago. Despite her caring responsibilities she became a core member of the group and has over the years volunteered at both county and national events. Struggling at school, she went on to attend college and complete her numeracy and literacy qualifications.

A member of the young carer’s focus group, Beckie played a fundamental role in supporting other young people, planning and organising activities and events. She gave particular attention to making sure new group members felt welcome and included. She has in recent years achieved her Millennium Volunteer’s Award and an award for her outstanding achievement in volunteering from the Lord Mayor of Leicester.

We are very proud of what Beckie has achieved despite her responsibilities as a young carer. Over the last 3 years we have been very proud and privileged to see her mature into a positive role model, and grab opportunities for training with both hands.

Beckie became a trainee youth worker in 2007 and provided support to not only the young carers group but also within the Eyres Monsell CYP. During this time she worked towards an NVQ3 in child care. She has been an excellent example and advocate for our organisation, speaking at GOEM meetings, fund raising events and our AGM.

In November 2008 Beckie went to China as a regional ambassador for youth work trainees with 100 other delegates. Again, she represented the impact good youth workers and being so well motivated can have on someone’s life and future. She is now studying for her Youth & Community Work degree at De Montfort University and is working at our club in Eyres Monsell.

Beckie is why we do what we do. If we had only one example of her achievements in our careers it would make it all worthwhile.

Young Carers Group

Young Leicestershire people

“I like working as a volunteer at the youth club and doing the tuck shop for the children. It gives me the chance to train in youth work and gain experience. My children love it too, as we can do it as a family.”
Julie Bradshaw – Melton Mowbray Cove Club volunteer

A Helping Hand

“I have been running ReActive club for over ten years, starting out as a parent concerned that young people in South Wigston had nowhere to go and nothing to do. Four years ago a colleague suggested that I affiliate with Young Leicestershire as I was running the club by myself and becoming overwhelmed with production of policies and procedures, recruitment, insurances, training, etc.
The staff at Young Leicestershire have been important in helping me to keep the club running efficiently. They have assisted me in gaining funding to pay for youth work staff and additional activities, and are always on the end of the phone or email if I need any advice or support or to chat about how we are doing.
The cost of affiliation is not a problem as it can be built into funding bids which YL help me to write, and is very little in terms of what we get back in return. I would recommend anyone who is running a community, youth or activity group to affiliate to Young Leicestershire group for the support.”
Linda Noonan – Manager Re: Active Youth Club

Everyone’s a Winner

“We offer our business partners valuable reciprocal benefits for getting involved: when their staff offer their support skills to a youth club or project, then they too can gain immensely from the experience. Working with or mentoring young people offers a whole range of benefits that can’t be obtained in the workplace.
Young Leicestershire works as a charity, but there’s much more to this organisation than an open hand. This is corporate social responsibility in action – and everyone’s a winner!”
Jacky York, Business Development Officer

Out of Trouble

“I was getting into loads of trouble at school so I just decided not to go back, I was out of school for over 6 months, and during this time I started hanging out at the club. Louise and Paul really helped me and encouraged me to volunteer and take part in an Asdan award. I even got the Volunteer of the Year award in 2011.
They also convinced me to go back to school, which I was unsure about doing. The club worked with my dad and the school and had loads of meetings. For the first two weeks, Paul went with me to school to help me get settled. I’m now in my last year and have been offered an apprenticeship for after my GCSEs. The club really helped me, I don’t know what I would have done without it.”
Luke, 15 – Eyres Monsell Club for Young People

Off the Streets

“I really enjoying coming to the club and volunteering and have learnt a lot. If I wasn’t spending my time at the club, I’d probably be on the streets getting myself into trouble. I don’t want to do that any more as I don’t want to risk my position here at the club.

I think it’s really important that the club is open as much as it can be.”
Damo, 19 – Eyres Monsell Club for Young People

Baroness Hazel Byford – Working together

BaronessHazelByfordI have followed with interest the affairs of Young Leicestershire and am pleased to see the positive progress the organisation has made and continues to make in its various fields. Like all organisations we have our own difficulties which we have had to overcome. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Committee, Club Leaders and all our voluntary helpers for their enthusiasm and continuing commitment to the interests of our Young People. I am very grateful to all our sponsors without whose financial support the impact of our work would be greatly reduced.

Together we have been able to open up opportunities for Young People giving them the chance to participate in a variety of activities, gain new friends and broaden their own personal development.

Thank you to you all.
Baroness Hazel Byford, President

Supporting Young Leicestershire

“I’ve always believed that providing the opportunity for Young People to enjoy positive activities in a club environment, is a very important element in the development of every young person. Young Leicestershire supports clubs and organisations that have the skills and abilities to fulfil a wide range of interests that appeal to Young People.

I’m an Accountant by training so my skills are in financial governance, and I have provided a service to Young Leicestershire over several years as Treasurer. Many of our thousands of Young Leicestershire volunteers don’t work directly with young people, but contribute their support and skills in this way.

I am also a Trustee/Director so I also try to support and guide the Chairman and CEO to achieve the strategic objectives of the charity, as required.”

Andrew, Treasurer

Melton Club Voices

“I feel the kids need to have activities to promote there creativity and experience new ideas for the future.”
Shirley Graham – Melton Mowbray youth club leader

The kids of Melton Mowbray need these clubs and activities so that they can express and enjoy themselves freely in a safe and comfortable environment
Tina Given – Melton Mowbray youth club leader

“This youth club is amazing, everyone enjoys it. Everyone gets along and looks forward its very happy and everyone loves it.”
Elarna-Jade, Cove club member

“My boys have just started to attend this group and they loved it so any funding anyone could give towards this project is needed. The workers who run this group are fantastic – they need all the support they can get to keep this project running.”
Janey Branstone-Spong

“I fully support the youth clubs of Melton and believe that they are a worthy cause for any funding available to them. Without support, the clubs are not sustainable which in turn leads to young people who have nowhere to go. People will then be quick to report anti-social behaviour purely on the grounds of young people ‘hanging around’ in the community, who are not necessarily causing any trouble whatsoever! Well done and keep up the good work to all those involved.”
Julia Thomas

Children In Need Case Study – Milly

When Milly joined the group when she had just turned 14 years old. She cares for her mother who is not socially confident and reluctant to engage is any social situations. This reluctance is mirrored by Milly. The difficulty Milly has engaging socially with others has led to incidences of bullying and intimidation both actual and perceived. These incidents have taken place within her neighbourhood and at school. This has resulted in the family moving home and schools several times to achieve a ‘fresh start.’

When Milly was first referred to the group the workers spent time supporting both Milly and her mother so they felt confident about Milly attending the group and that she would feel supported and safe. This took some time, many conversations and home visits with mother. It was particularly important that mother was kept fully informed about the programmes of activities, times and clear line of communication maintained. Slowly over months Milly became more engaged in activities and began to make friends with others in a similar situation to herself. Eventually Milly was confident enough to attend her first residential. This was a massive step in both her and her mother’s trust in the group and workers. Milly did find being away initially very difficult and spent a lot of time on the phone to her mother seeking reassurance. The staff also spoke to mother frequently to make sure she was happy and secure. Milly did have a great time taking part in activities such as canoeing, climbing and abseiling and when she wasn’t thinking about home really started to gain confidence.
Attending the group has made a significant difference to Milly. She is gaining in confidence and making friends and her social skills are improving. She has realised how much she enjoys swimming and is building her relationships with the local pool instructors who are encouraging her to volunteer and help with swimming lessons. This is something a year ago she would never have done. In addition, she has also surpassed our expectations and gone on to stand for election of youth representative, as part of the local council engagement policy.

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