The role of young volunteers recognised

7th January 2019. Step Up To Serve, coordinating charity for the #iwill campaign, welcomes the commitment within the NHS Long Term Plan to grow the number of young volunteers over the next decade.  The plan notes that volunteering enables young people to ‘develop skills and experience for work and education’ and to support the #iwill campaign’s efforts to ‘‘encourage NHS organisations to give greater access for younger volunteers’.

In 2018, to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the #iwill campaign worked closely with NHS England, NHS Improvement, Pears Foundation and others to increase the number of young volunteers in the health and care sector.  Twenty-five NHS Trusts have taken up the challenge, with the potential to create over 2,000 new opportunities for young people as young as ten in hospital and primary care settings. We will continue to build on this as we engage in more opportunities in social care settings and more NHS Trusts.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, the charity that coordinates the #iwill campaign, said:

“We are pleased that the NHS long-term plan recognises the huge impact young people can make to the health of their communities by contributing their time, skills and energy to volunteering. Youth volunteering can enhance patient experience; act as a valuable introduction to a range of career options in the health and care sector; and improve the health and wellbeing of both the young people involved and their communities.

“Currently 4 in 10 young people aged 10 to 20 in the UK get involved in social action and we know many more would like to contribute to their communities. It will take partners from across the country to work together to take on the challenge of increasing access for younger volunteers in order to fully harness the potential volunteers can have on the NHS.”