Let's celebrate our volunteers - Volunteers' Week 2022

As we conclude Volunteers' Week 2022, let's celebrate youth voice and leadership by hearing how YST volunteers have increased confidence, participation and their sense of belonging through sport.

Volunteering provides opportunity to develop valuable life skills, make friends and socialise, and feel connected, providing young people with an opportunity to make a difference. Sport has a unique way of bringing people together, creating a sense of belonging which can positively impact wellbeing and happiness.

“We love to volunteer and give something back to others and be that role model who inspired us when we were younger.” Molly, Fit for Girls Young Tutor

“Being a volunteer gives you a great sense of belonging because you’re surrounded by like-minded people.” Erin, Fit for Girls Young Tutor

Developing leadership skills through volunteering and social action offers much to both young people who become the changemakers but also their peers around them who benefit from participating in these activities.

“I love seeing young people progress in their own sporting journeys and grow in confidence as they meet new peers and develop their skills. I think volunteering is a great way to get people involved in sport through different forms rather than just participating in it. I volunteer as I enjoy gaining new experiences in different settings and connecting with others who share the same passion as I do and I am always excited when a new volunteering opportunity comes around. When I volunteer I always feel part of a team and a positive sense of community is created, everyone is always so supportive of each other in their volunteering journeys.”  Maisie, YST Team Leader

"When I volunteer I always feel part of a team and a positive sense of community is created, everyone is always so supportive of each other in their volunteering journeys."

Maisie, YST Team Leader
Maisie, YST Team Leader

Empowering young people to become leaders or changemakers, develop their leadership skills and drive their own action to create change is an exciting prospect. Not only are young people a crucial and valuable part of the sport workforce which can impact children taking part in physical activity, but the leadership opportunities themselves provide benefits which young people can take with them through life.

“I think it’s important to provide leadership opportunities because they help young people develop their communication skills and develop self-confidence. The sports leadership opportunities I participated in as a teenager led me to study sport management which I wouldn’t have otherwise realised was an option. I feel the skills I learnt from sports leadership helps me every day in my now role as a primary teacher.

If I could ask one thing of practitioners who help provide leadership opportunities for young people it would be, make sure you are constantly consulting the voices of the young people you support." Keziah, YST Youth Board Member

“Young people are the future, not only does empowering the next generation ensure that volunteering is sustainable, but it also means our volunteers get better and better over time as they are supported with more knowledge and opportunities for growth. I would like to thank all practitioners who provide other young people with opportunities and for the difference you make.” Elodie, YST Youth Board Member

As we conclude Volunteers’ Week for another year, what opportunities will you provide for all young people to be the changemakers they have potential to be?

National School Sport Week is around the corner, and there’s still time to sign up. Join hundreds of other changemakers, and give all young people a place to belong in school sport.

Published on 7 June 2022