So the time has come- this week YouthNet bid an extremely fond farewell to Do-it.org and embarked on a new future focussing solely on the needs of young people.
What a journey it has been.
Since announcing our decision to transfer the service earlier this year there has been a whole stream of activity to make the transition as smooth as possible for our partners, volunteers and of course, for everyone involved. I can not thank all those involved enough for helping this process, particularly YouthNet staff who have been amazing throughout and characteristically professional. I think too, that we’d be doing ourselves an injustice if we didn’t just pause for a minute to reflect on what, together, we have achieved:
- What started as a pilot project in 2001 became the UK’s leading volunteering service with around 1 million opportunities to volunteer and more than 1 million registered volunteers.
- Do-it has been a vital part of a larger social movement to encourage people to give their time- 28% of people using Do-it say they would not have started volunteering without it.
- Over the years we’ve worked with around 700 partners representing 26,108 charities who have benefited from posting their volunteer opportunities on Do-it.
- Today there are more than 3million page views on Do-it every month and there’s been almost 2 million unique users in 2013!
YouthNet’s remains passionate about volunteering and ever-grateful to the 200 young volunteers who support us and the delivery and development of our services – we know first-hand the valuable contribution that volunteers bring to an organisation. I am absolutely confident in the commitment and the expertise of the new owners to ensure Do-it continues as a key part of the volunteering landscape and YouthNet shall continue to use it as a vital source of reaching future volunteers.
I’m sure everyone who has been involved in Do-it, or is equally passionate about volunteering, will be watching with interest as Jamie, the ivo team and their partners continue to evolve the service. I wish them every success and look forward to their developing the service further. And it’s an evolution for YouthNet too, as we look to double the number of young people we support and continue at pace to develop new services, such as our StepFinder app, which young people tell us can make a difference to the challenges they face.
And that pace is so important. Technology moves fast and young people’s lives move fast; problems can seem to arise quickly and digital support must keep evolving if it’s going to be the source of help it has the potential to be. Through our series of Cycle of Innovation events this year, I’ve been inspired by the conversations we’ve had with others who are interested in developing a new models of support where we can work in an iterative fashion and respond quickly to young people’s needs and who share the understanding of the valuable role digital can play in provide essential support.
So I wish the ivo team well with their evolution of Do-it and I am excited about what 2014 holds as YouthNet evolves and shapes innovative new support to make a difference to young people today.