Volunteering gives young people the chance to develop a range of skills and build confidence, all while making a genuine impact in their communities.
As part of their DofE, young people volunteer by themselves (or as a part of a team) for an average of an hour a week for 3-18 months, depending on the award they're completing and the choices they've made in other sections.
There are lots of different volunteering options within Scouts – including being a young leader or adult volunteer delivering adventurous activities – and in the wider community.
Finding opportunities for young people under 16 can be tricky, though. And aligning these with to specific interests and goals may take a little while, so it's always wise to start searching early.
The DofE opportunity finder is a great place to begin: it's jam-packed with opportunities listed by Approved Activity Providers or Licensed Organisations for the DofE.
As their leader, you should remind young people that:
- Whichever activity they choose needs to be approved by their DofE leader first
- Training shouldn't take up more than a quarter of their volunteering time
- They can't volunteer for a private company
- They should avoid taking on volunteering roles which would take the place of a paid one
- They'll need complete to the appropriate training modules if they're volunteering within Scouts: including a minimum of Module A of the Young Leaders' Scheme or the getting started modules of the Adult Training Scheme, depending on how old they are
- They should be given a copy of the Orange Card (Young People First for Young Leaders) and be made aware of the resources available to them if they're volunteering as an Explorer Scout Young
Visit the DofE website for extra guidance, programme planning resources and ideasCheck out the ideas