v exists to champion youth volunteering in England and inspire a new generation of young volunteers aged 16-25. In July 2008, the Lifetracks consortium (Foyer Federation, Rathbone, Skill and YouthNet) was awarded a grant of £1.48m from the v Match Fund for a three-year programme of work.
Thanks to v and co-funder The Vodafone Foundation, Lifetracks is in the process of recruiting and training 4000 young volunteers over the 2008 – 2011 period, who will inspire a network of peers across England to (re)engage with employment, education and training. Young volunteers have the opportunity to choose from a range of roles, including:
- Peer mentors – who will support young people who are offending or at risk of offending through Rathbone’s Engagement Teams;
- Ambassadors – who will use their experiences of homelessness to mentor and coach young people across the Foyer Federation network;
- Virtual Volunteers – who will create audio, video and written advice for the Lifetracks website;
- Community Champions – who will campaign for change in support services offered in their local area.
The programme also focuses on removing barriers to volunteering for young people; Skill support and empower disabled young people to volunteer by working directly with 100 volunteer-involving organisations.
v and The Vodafone Foundation have enabled the Lifetracks consortium to bring together a truly diverse range of volunteering opportunities. The programme will engage young people from a range of backgrounds and give them the opportunity to use new technology, mentoring, campaigning and advocacy to support their peers.
Terry Ryall, Chief Executive, v, says:
“v is delighted to be able to provide financial support to Lifetracks through our Match Fund programme for this project which will inspire young people to volunteer across England.”
v is an independent charity using an innovative new model which allows funds raised from the private sector to be matched by the Government. Up to £50 million has been allocated by the Government for this purpose. v wants to enable a lasting change in the quality, quantity and diversity of youth volunteering.