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Young volunteers talk about their work

Jul 7th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

ICE BREAKER: Volunteers start to work together in the morning

ICE BREAKER: Young volunteers get to know one another before the forum starts.

A GROUP of the country’s best young volunteers gathered at a workshop in Wellington to talk to organisations about how to make volunteering more attractive.

VolunteerMAIN3The Mission Possible! event for networking and idea building was held at youth venue Zeal in Wellington’s Ghuznee St as a part of Volunteer Awareness week, promoting “volunteering across the generations”.

Teams participated in different activities at the workshop – organised by Volunteering NZ – and shared experiences of what worked in the past.

They worked on creating strategies that will shape relationships between young volunteers and established companies.

“For young people, we don’t have a leadership crisis,” said Students Against Violence Everywhere co-founder Johny O’Donnell (16), Nelson.

“In fact, we have plenty of good leaders, but we do have a follow-ship crisis. Our leaders don’t have young people behind them.

“The challenges and bumps are really positive because we learn from them,” said Johny.

One of the organising team, Chelsea Robinson, said a major goal was to find the common themes of achievement and failure and use them to direct success.

“We want to make people want to contribute, so their volunteering isn’t tokenistic,” she said. “I’m really interested in seeing that come about.”

Volunteer TIM BURNSVolunteering NZ executive director Tim Burns (left) said it was a day for youth passionate about volunteering and organisations to find out what they can do differently and better, and to bring on board more young people as volunteers.

“We will also be looking at how we can keep in touch and get feedback on what happened as a result of the day, what the organisations do and how [the workshop] has, or has not, made a difference,” he said.

Rachel Hadwen, Cancer Society national office worker and supporter of country-wide volunteer managers, said she wants a better sense of what they could do to just be a little bit sexier in the eyes of young people.

In the afternoon, pairs of young people were joined with companies and asked to collaborate on ideas formulated during the day so they could meet up or contact each other again in a month to check progress.

Mr Burns said  each of the organisations took on one or more actions that would work towards getting more young people involved.

HANDS UP: The group of youth volunteers and organisation representatives

HANDS UP: The group of youth volunteers and organisation representatives.

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