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July 30th, 2010

Volunteers – Reason 2

As in a previous post, I am committed to working with volunteers. The second reason I am convinced in working with volunteers is young people can see themselves as more valuable. How I hear you ask?

Often conversations in youth clubs in my experience go like this:

Young Person: How much are you paid to be here? I bet it’s alot…

Volunteer: Nothing…

Young Person (Stunned silence): Why are you here then?

And the conversation continues, with volunteers giving a range of answers on their motivations for giving up their precious time on any given evening or weekend. Often with the conclusion (at least in my experience) of the Young Person leaving the conversation having a level of respect or understanding of the Volunteer and (in my words) as sense of value of themselves – ‘oh someone is giving up their time for me’. I remember quite distinctly this dawning on me, when I was a young person, I remember thinking about the people that were giving up their time to give me something to do, I also remember feeling guilt for the times I had thrown it back in their faces.

Reason 2 for Volunteers.