YouthNet volunteer weekender

At the end of July, volunteers from across four different project groups met in London to share their knowledge and experiences of being a YouthNet volunteer.

The Mix Staff
Volunteer weekender

During 2014, YouthNet has been running four project groups, each one relating to an area of our work. The groups are composed of a team of young volunteers who are acting as our consultants and every month we launch a set of activities for them to get involved in. To date we’ve had an anxiety and depression project group (DA Warriors), a youth employability project group (Job Squad), an app creation project group (Project Magenta) and’s community redevelopment project group (Community Champions).

After a fantastic weekend, three of our volunteers, Jack, Becki and Claire wrote individual blogs about the weekend and I’m going to try my best to do them justice by featuring parts of their blogs to paint a full picture.

The agenda for the weekend

The focus of the weekend was giving volunteers the tools, confidence and language to speak about their volunteering with YouthNet to friends, family and potential employers. To bring that to life, we organised for a representative from Speakers Trust to join us Saturday afternoon, but first the volunteers from the different project groups got together to reflect on their experience.

Jack – “Our workshop leader made us confident to speak on what we’re passionate about.”

“As there was such a diverse blend, the initial activity got us to reflect, or anticipate, on the emotions, successes and challenges we’ve faced in our individual groups. Some of the benefits of taking part were unsurprisingly similar – writing blogs, contributing to the work of the organisation and receiving great opportunities as a result of our volunteering.

Following that, a special visit from the Speakers Trust came to get us up on our feet and more able when speaking to an audience. Focusing on some of our initial anxieties about this activity, our workshop leader sought to debunk some of these inhibiting fears and make us confident enough to speak on what we’re most passionate about. The exercises tested our ability to think on the spot when being just given a topic, or even an object, to speak on.”

Becki – “Despite being scared of public speaking, I spoke from the heart and made everyone cry.”

“I hate talking in front of people and never in a million years thought I’d be able to do it… But I did! Whilst I was standing in front of everyone every inch of me was shaking. But I knew that if I didn’t push myself, I’d never be able to do it. My final speech was quite an emotional one. We had to talk about why we volunteered for YouthNet. I spun it around a bit and spoke about the weekend mostly and the things I felt I achieved. Helen said to speak from the heart and that’s exactly what I did. But I made all the staff cry, including myself. Sorry guys!”

Claire – “Volunteering has changed me as a person.”

“The speeches were very inspiring, some of the lovely speeches about how much volunteering with YouthNet has helped them. I for one also agree how much volunteering with YouthNet has changed me as a person. I love every minute of it, and I love helping.”

Introducing our latest volunteer project group – community champions

In honour of our recently launched community champions group, on the Sunday we changed gears slightly and as a team we put our heads together to think of ways on how we could further engage’s online community. Community Champion volunteers are injecting their innovative and brilliant ideas into all aspects of’s online community: live chats, discussion board, layout and even content, to ensure that’s community continues to be fresh and a place where young people feel safe and comfortable. In order to help them kick start the project, we all contributed our ideas on as we know it and how we want to know it.

Jack – “Sharing ideas on how to improve”

“Today’s focus would be put onto their online service, TheSite, and to share ideas on how improvements or changes can be made. The activity for this included how the group would imagine the website as a political party or a music festival! As odd as those similarities may sound, there were various aspects which we found TheSite could benefit from, like VIP benefits and meetings among website volunteers. From that, we then stuck our own post-it notes on what next steps we would like to see TheSite take to improve its services.”

Becki – “Until next time.”

“Before I knew it, it was time to go home. I was a bit disappointed actually because I had such an amazing weekend I didn’t want it to end! So thank you to everyone that helped me have an enjoyable weekend and hopefully I will see you all soon.”

I’d like to echo Becki’s final words and say thank you to everyone who was involved in such a brilliant weekender. Until the next one in October!


Published on 24-Sep-2014