Volunteering at Cheshire Young Carers is a great way to develop skills and gain experience and also help to improve the lives of young carers who need support.
Volunteers at Cheshire Young Carers help us change the lives of a special group of young people, offering fantastic rewards through experiences that really help local communities. Alongside the training and overall experience, volunteers are always supported to explore what role suits them best and how their volunteer role can be enjoyed with the right balance between fun, challenges and rewards. In 2011, CYCs volunteer workforce received an MBE from the Queen for “producing ground-breaking results in the area of improving health and wellbeing for young carers.”
Our volunteers play a huge role in delivering this support, we would be unable to function without the time and effort that our Volunteers give. Each of our volunteer’s skills and experiences allow them to engage with young carers at fortnightly respite sessions, on activity days or special events. This makes being one of our Volunteers so rewarding and enjoyable. Volunteers are always supported to explore what role suits them best and how their volunteer role can be enjoyed with the right balance between fun, challenges and rewards.
The young people who access the service are often disadvantaged educationally and socially and lack opportunities for personal development. Being a volunteer gives you a chance to make a difference and have a positive impact on a young person’s wellbeing.
As a volunteer you will:
• Improve the health and wellbeing of young carers
• Reduce negative effects of caring
• Support young carers to achieve positive outcomes
• Promote positive self-identity and independence
• Reduce Social Isolation amongst young carers
Being a volunteer is so greatly valued and as well as learning new skills and having new experiences, you are welcomed with open arms into our team. Building new friendships with staff, other volunteers and especially our young carers, is what makes these opportunities even more rewarding.
Here is what our volunteers have to say:
“I volunteer with CYC because I have time to give and I like to think the minor contribution I make could offer a small benefit to the young carers.
I thoroughly enjoy being involved with all the activities and getting to know everybody.
CYC are doing such important work and I got to see this first hand on my trip to the lake district last summer with a great bunch of young carers. It was fantastic to see the development of character over the few days, the forming of friendships and how formerly quiet individuals came completely out of their shells. This is the magic CYC are doing. They are helping to support and develop amazing young people. I am so proud to say I am part of such an important organisation.”
“My most memorable experience was going to Carden Park for a day of high rope, treasure hunts, team games and evening party. It was such a great day and all the young carers were so happy to be there it was something that they clearly do not get to do. One child said ‘this is the best day of my life’, he was so excited about it all”
“Wow what an experience! Learning more about the challenges young people face was invaluable. Helping them to overcome these has also given me new valuable skills that I can use again. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you have added something to a young person’s day or even life”
“Although I led the dance sessions it was certainly a team effort and we were really able to be there for some of the young people and encourage them to take part. Dance is an incredible way for the young people to express their deepest fears and worries, the things they dare not speak about. Without words we are able to see just how much they have to cope with and how it affects them. For many of the young carers this was a project they looked forward to coming to every week. They built trust and friendships and there was a real sense of peace amongst them”
In addition the young carers at CYC have said that they value being supported by volunteers as they feel as though the support is genuine as a person is giving up their own time and that this builds stronger relationships