Interlink’s Fab Five: Youth Grants Panel Volunteers Believe in the Young Volunteers of Rhondda Cynon Taff
“We believe in the volunteers of Rhondda Cynon Taff, because we are volunteers ourselves. Each year young people are getting more and more inventive and confident in themselves, and this is why we love being part of the process. The Vol Factor make me proud to live here.”
Today in Volunteers Week we feature the fantastic Volunteers of Interlink’s Youth Grants Panel: Kari Jones, Scott Russell, Bronnie Griffiths, Seb Bunyan and James Watts Rees.
The Panel was established in October 2008 and they offer Welsh Government funded grants to support youth–led volunteering projects involving 14-25 year olds in Rhondda Cynon Taff.
The longest serving Panel Member Kari Jones told us: ”As a Panel we are proud of all the projects we have funded because they are all unique – they genuinely come from the youth of Rhondda Cynon Taff and that’s our ethos.”
“We promote creativity and individuality in the young people of RCT and encourage them to come forward with ideas – then our role is to make that happen. We hold Visioning Events every year, when groups can talk through and develop ideas with Panel Members. We also held a Freshers Fayre event this year, and we’d like to thank Michelle from Spectacle Theatre for her help with it. It introduced some new young people to the grant scheme and helped us to spend the full allocation we pulled down. We would normally at this time of year also be holding a Youth Grants Celebration, but this has sadly been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Just this year we have spent £36,000, funded 30 projects, hit all the targets and themes we wanted to. The Scheme raises the aspirations of young people by giving them the chance to run their own projects year after year. We know of projects which have directly improved community cohesion, for example where young people have cleaned up their community. We have seen young peoples’ confidence grow, from when they give a presentation to the Panel, to when they give one at a Celebration Evening in front of 50 people. It’s great to see their pride in their projects.”
Last year the project funded projects which engaged over 130 young people on volunteering projects in RCT, with much larger numbers expected this year from a bumper crop of projects. Kari continues:
“We believe in the volunteers of Rhondda Cynon Taff, because we are volunteers ourselves. Each year young people are getting more and more inventive and confident in themselves, and this is why we love being part of the process.“
“Being on the Youth Grants Panel for RCT, we have distributed more money than any other Panel in Wales. That is a major achievement, so we know we work effectively, but more importantly we have learnt that there are so many projects and so many young people who want to pitch in. Rhondda Cynon Taff is a community minded place, and the Vol Factor make me proud to live here.”
Check out Scotts video here
For more information about the Vol Factor Grant Scheme please contact Interlink by email at email@example.com or Thomas Crockett, Interlink’s Youth Volunteering Advisor on 07742 499188.