Evidence shows volunteering gives young people self-worth and builds confidence to take on new opportunities. It also benefits patients and organisations bringing a valuable awareness of the challenges of being a young person today and youthful energy and new ideas to help you tackle any challenges you may be facing. It also provides an opportunity to inspire and grow the future workforce and influence the way young people are perceived in society.
Health and social care organisations can offer exciting opportunities to young people to volunteer in areas such as wards/care homes. They could help navigate people around services, support administration and practical tasks or take on influencing roles such as being an antibiotic guardian, a mental health first aider or sexual health peer educator.
They also have a key role to play through youth voice and engagement work, such as being part of a youth forum and providing valuable feedback on services, sitting on your boards or recruitment panels and taking over your social media accounts.
In April 2019 the NHS brought together over 200 children and young people, youth support workers and senior leaders with one key aim – to discuss the ambitions set out within the NHS Long Term Plan and how these goals can be achieved in the context of youth volunteering and social action. See the report from the NHS Youth Voice Summit here
The NHS Youth Forum have developed a range of resources to support the delivery of youth volunteering and encourage young people to participate in social action.