To me, the Power of Youth is an untold truth in society – how vital young people are in the world of volunteering. 

Last week was Volunteers Week, which celebrates the great work young people are doing in volunteering through sports, arts and culture

Wednesday was dedicated to people like me – the young, the boundary breakers, the empowered. I volunteer as part of the Youth Advisory Panel at Spirit of 2012. Made up of 11 young champions across the UK, we endeavour to be the voice of young people under the guidance of Spirit’s executive team and Board. Ours, and Spirit’s, goal is to invest in happiness.


Image from iOS (3)

With all youthful endeavours, this comes with challenges. There are a number of things that can hinder young people in particular from volunteering:

    • Cost. We’re ambitious but most of us are not at the stage to match that ambition with the income required to consistently volunteer. 
    • Time. It’s not always just monetary either. As we search for a way to make it in life, time becomes more and more valuable. 
    • Cultural barriers. As a young black male growing up in London, for example, I would have struggled to volunteer at a football game on a Sunday morning because that time is booked for Church. Organisations with volunteering programmes need to be mindful of the communities in which they operate – working with parents or carers can be key.

Spirit understands these things and helps us make the most of our volunteering. I’ve witnessed first hand the way that participants in their programmes reap so many benefits. I’ve collaborated and grown my networks.

Even as I’m giving time and skills into helping young people, I’m not losing out on my own personal growth to compensate. If anything, I’m a much better person because of it. 

Volunteering is a great way to put yourself out there. It gives you a voice and helps you directly influence people’s lives in a positive way – even through just smiling.

It’s given me the opportunity to be a leader with lived experience. A changemaker. Together with the rest of the YAP, we’re preparing for our Challenge Fund which will enable us to put our leadership into action and help tackle a problem in society that is affecting young people every day.

Sounds interesting right?  Well keep a look out for us. Just like on Twitter, we’re taking over. 

Further information

To find out more about Spirit’s Youth Advisory Panel, click here