Volunteering does far more than help organizations do their work. Lending your time and talents to a group or cause that’s meaningful to you creates connections, forges friendships and boosts your sense of belonging. It can also build skills and experience to take forward into your education or career.
But when it comes to engaging youth volunteers, what’s working well, and what could be better?
Help the Victoria Foundation kick off National Volunteer Week with Youth Volunteerism: Barriers and Breakthroughs, a Vital Conversation celebrating local young people aged 15 to 29 who are engaged in community volunteerism, advocacy and activism, and exploring opportunities, challenges and barriers to such work.
“What our Vital Signs community check-up tells us is borne out by what we hear from our community partners: Bringing the community together to talk about volunteerism is both timely and valuable,” says Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “We encourage you to be inspired, get involved, have your voice heard or simply discover how to better support these young leaders.”
The great news is that the Capital Region is in many ways a community of volunteers across all age groups. In fact, last year’s Vital Signs reported that in the previous year, nearly 30 per cent of youth had volunteered at least once a month. But there is room to grow that participation, in a way that makes sense for youth.
The 2018 Victoria’s Vital Signs citizen survey revealed that youth are:
- more likely to have volunteered in social justice, compared to all other age brackets.
- less likely to have volunteered at least once a month compared to those aged 45+.
- less likely to agree or strongly agree that “I participate actively in my community of interest” compared to those aged 65+.
- less likely to mention municipal administration efforts to engage citizens as working well compared to those aged 65+.
- less likely to have donated money to charity at least once a month compared to those aged 31 to 54.
- less likely to agree or strongly agree that “I feel I know my neighbours well enough to ask for help or offer assistance” compared to all other age brackets.
- less likely to have never felt uncomfortable or out of place because of their religion, ethnicity, skin colour, culture, race, language, accent, disability, gender or sexual orientation, compared to those aged 55+.
Youth volunteerism: Barriers and Breakthroughs comes to Camosun College’s Lansdowne Campus Monday, April 8. Presented in partnership with Coast Capital Savings, the session runs from 5 to 7 p.m in the Gibson Auditorium (Young Building).
Who should attend?
This Vital Conversation welcomes everyone but may be especially valuable for youth aged 15 to 29 years, family and friends who want to better support them, and people and organizations working with youth volunteers.
Seating is limited, so book your free tickets today; light refreshments will be provided.
To learn more, email Emily Wisenthal at the Victoria Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-381-5532.