Volunteering initiatives set to grow

Posted on 08/03/2019

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Volunteering changes lives and a hidden army of almost 12 million people volunteer at least once a month.

But now young people are being encouraged to volunteer in their communities to earn credits towards expeditions in destinations as diverse as the Indian Himalaya, Peruvian Amazon and Canadian Yukon.

The 2019 Explorer Miles scheme has been launched by the British Exploring Society, a youth development charity founded on the belief that challenging experiences can change lives.

The charity takes young people between the ages of 14 and 25 on expeditions to remote locations where they face challenges, gain skills and learn about themselves. 11,000 young people have benefited from the expeditions to date, acquiring knowledge relevant to their lives and to the fragile environments that they explore.

The Explorer Miles scheme enables young people to earn credits towards the costs of participation on an expedition up to a maximum value of £1,000 for 100 hours of volunteering.

Another volunteering initiative set to grow this year is mental health charity, The Cogwheel Trust which is aiming to help more families in Cambridge who are suffering from mental ill health.

In 2018 The Cogwheel Trust provided over 5,000 hours of counselling and since it was founded in 1988 has supported  26,000 people with 90,000 hours of support. It has over 40 dedicated part-time counsellors who, in addition to large number of volunteer counsellors, are able offer a variety of counselling approaches.

Meanwhile one charity which relies on volunteers, Jamie’s Farm, is looking to expand.

The farm was started Jamie Feilden in 2005 – when he was still a school teacher – as a way of providing crucial opportunities for young people on the verge of exclusion from school. Feilden created a residential programme on his farm to show the children what they were capable of as a way of bringing them back into society.

Feilden’s first farm opened in Bath with a further three opening since – in Hereford, London, and Monmouth in Wales. The charity also hopes to open a further farm in April this year in Lewes in Sussex.

The team has said that it still needs to raise a further £350,000 to ensure the new farm is completed.  Information on how to donate can be found at www.jamiesfarm.org.uk.

This post first appeared on GritDaily. Image from South of England Agricultural Society.

Posted in: The Rooftop