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Volunteering to make a difference to a young person’s life in your community


31 May 2016

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK – and it’s taking place from the 1-12 June 2016. Today we are highlighting how the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team are helping young people through support from volunteers.

In Gloucestershire the Youth Support Team run a number of initiatives to support young people to live their lives crime-free. Innovative and integrated approaches have resulted in one programme, Great Expectations, delivering a re-offending rate of 8% in young people against a national figure of 37.4%.

One important aspect of the Youth Support Team’s work is involving members of the community to support and direct young people. One programme, Referral Order Panels, help young offenders think about how they can repair the harm caused to victims and communities. Made up of volunteers the panels aim to prevent re-offending by offering more positive alternatives working with young people and their families.

Volunteers join the Referral Order Panel and give a few evenings a month to help a young person find a way out of offending in their local community. The panels encourage young offenders think about how they can repair the harm caused to victims and communities, and prevent re-offending by offering more positive alternatives.

The volunteers on the panel develop contracts with the young people, and their families. These contracts identify activities and support that address offending behaviour. Referral Order Panel volunteering offers challenging and rewarding roles. Volunteers represent their local community and come from all walks of life.

If you are over 18, live in Gloucestershire and want to make a positive impact in a young person’s life and the lives of your neighbours, get in touch with Christine Kingsnorth, Youth Support Team on 01242 242825 to find out more about Referral Order Panels.

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