Get Involved Volunteering (GIV) is a charity which believes in helping children to give back and make a difference in their community through volunteering. Our programme helps them to develop many of the skills they lack; helping them feel confident, raising their self-esteem and developing their skills as they participate in supported volunteering.
What does GIV do?
GIV supports secondary schools to encourage KS3 students, which they select, into sustainable, student-led volunteering – with a sensitive focus on ‘looked after’ children and others who are disadvantaged or vulnerable.
We also recruit and train post-16 student mentors and adult volunteers to support the young people in their volunteer journey. All staff and volunteers are DBS validated and trained by GIV to help support the programme.
Building upon our work which began in Luton and successful pilot projects in Milton Keynes we are looking to invite more schools to take part in the programme. This year (2017) thanks to a Big Lottery grant, we are able to offer subsidized places.
Working in partnership with the schools we use a flexible model to meet their needs. The programme begins with assemblies to recruit 6th form students as volunteer mentors who are then trained to take on the role of supporting the younger children on a volunteer project. During the spring term we organise regular team building activities with visits to The Caldecotte Centre and/or The Parks Trust (funded by GIV). There are opportunities to visit other volunteer projects in our community if the school has an interest in doing so.
In the summer term the project concludes when the young people work alongside their mentors on a social action project. Former projects included creating a sensory garden in Willen Hospice, designing and creating a play area at St Francis Children’s Adoption Centre, befriending the elderly and working with the social welfare group at Shenley Retirement Village.
Our projects draw in community support from professionals, volunteers and local business. We work in partnership with local charities to help them realise their own projects.
Projects have included:
Creating a community garden at St Francis Adoption centre
Shop, café and survey work at Stowe
Working alongside adults with learning difficulties
Devising a community film for the National Trust
Planting out a sensory garden at Willen Hospice
What does GIV deliver?
Evidence from our other programmes indicate that students – particularly the most vulnerable – grow in self-confidence, self-esteem, motivation, team and problem-solving skills, which feeds back positively into other aspects of their school life as they move up the school. The local community also benefits from real social action projects; and the school subsequently benefits from enhanced reputation.
Why is GIV unique?
It is to our knowledge the only pupil-led volunteering model designed for KS3 pupils, with disadvantaged students at its heart. We are supported by the LEA inclusion team.
Building upon our work in Luton and successful pilot projects in Milton Keynes we are looking to invite more schools to take part in the programme this year and thanks to a Big Lottery grant, we are able to offer subsidized places.
What does it cost to take part?
GIV is a not for profit organization; we ask for a contribution from each school of £300 per pupil which in some cases can be reimbursed through an application for additional assistance from the Pupil Premium fund. To make the programme viable we need to work with a minimum of 8 students. The payments are used to set against necessary costs but the programme is subsidized through donations and grant funding. Thanks to a Big Lottery Grant in 2016/17 activities at the Caldecotte Centre and the Parks Trust were free.
Want to know more?
We would welcome the opportunity to visit your school to discuss working with you. Should you wish we can also put you in touch with colleagues from other schools who have already taken part in the programme.
Please contact our local coordinator, Debbie Greaves (email@example.com) with GIV SCHOOLS in the subject line or call 07818484221