Your chance to make a life brighter
I stumbled on Get Connected by complete chance. I had just returned to London from teaching six year olds in India and knew that I wanted to continue working with young people. I was drawn to Get Connected’s ethos of empowering young people with information and supporting them through the process of finding help, whatever the issue.
As evidenced by the Connected Generation Report, a shocking 67% of young people feel lonely and isolated due to their problems. This means that it’s crucial to let young people take control so that they can decide how best to move forward in their lives.
Over the last six years as a volunteer, I have seen the incredible impact of Get Connected’s approach. The power of listening to a young person without judgement and giving them options for the future is truly transformative.
I have listened to many different experiences from young people all over the country and there are some stories that will always stay with me. However, the one thing that unites all the calls, web chats and emails that I have taken at GC is the overwhelming sense of hope. The young people who get in touch want to find help and it is a great privilege to be able to provide them with support.
I am so glad that I got involved with Get Connected. It has made me a better listener, calmer under pressure and more appreciative of my own support networks. It is challenging – I have had difficult shifts over the years but this is outweighed by the immense level of satisfaction.
There is something amazing about knowing that three hours of your time, once a week, can benefit a young person’s life. You will never meet the young person but in a small way, you will have made their life a little brighter and helped them to realise that they are not alone. I can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend an evening.
As if that wasn’t enough, the team and volunteers at Get Connected are inspiring too. I didn’t join GC for the social aspect but there is such warmth, intelligence and creativity in the help room. I think there is a real sense of community, driven by everyone’s shared aim of helping young people. It’s not often that you are surrounded by talented, thoughtful people who give their time for free, and it can be easy to forget that are lovely, kind people in the world – especially when you’re trapped on the daily commute.
If you’re thinking of becoming a volunteer at Get Connected then I would strongly encourage you to join the team. The initial training is engaging and relevant, the people are great and somewhere in the UK, right now, there’s a young person who needs a listening ear.
This post was originally part of the Get Connected website. YouthNet and Get Connected merged to form The Mix in 2016.
Published on 21-Aug-2015
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