Our awesome new platform brings paid jobs to young people.
With 1 million 18-24 year olds unemployed, that’s no easy feat! To get you ready to apply for summer jobs, we’re hosting a Twitter Q&A. The Task Squad micro-work team will be here on Tuesday 28 May between 1-2pm to answer your questions and get your CVs looking amazing.
Just tweet us using the hashtag #TaskSquad. We’re here to help job hunters through the tough times.
What is task Squad?
Task Squad is our new online platform that brings paid temp jobs to the desktops and phones of young people. It’s another way that we’re helping young people apply skills and confidence gained through volunteering to take their first step towards the careers they really want.
It’s flexible, it puts the job search in your hands so you choose what you want to do and when. Task Squad puts much-needed cash in your back pocket… and you don’t even have to put down your phone to apply.
What can we help with?
We can help with all sorts of career queries during our Q&A session. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- How can you get employed on Task Squad?
- What kind of jobs will be advertised on Task Squad?
- Where else can I start looking for summer jobs?
- What should I have included on my CV?
- How should I approach an employer for a job?
- Tips and tricks to get you through a job interview
How do I get involved?
Not around on Tuesday? Fear not – just tweet us now instead!
vInspired are letting four young people and four celebrity mentors battle it out with four campaigns that young people care about. The winning campaign will be the centre of our summer event, vInspired Live.
Make sure you’re registered for your chance to nab tickets to this revolutionary event. Our young people will be lobbying hard to change something that they see wrong with the world. Show your support by coming to vInspired Live for free on 6 July.
Mental health stigma
Perturbed by society’s unrealistic expectations of how we should look, Team v veteran Emma Norris is fronting the Love The Skin You’re In campaign. After returning to student life in the UK from Uganda, Emma realised how much of an impact the country’s attitude towards appearance had on her sense of self-worth.
The Love the Skin You’re In campaign is about realising who you are, what you want to achieve and the unique qualities that make you special. Our society has unrealistic expectations on what clothes size we should be, and stereotypes us into groups based on our choices and individual interests.
The ultimate aim? To change attitudes towards stereotypes and the way body image is taught in the UK.
vInspired National Award winner Eliza Rebeiro knew she had to change something after her friends were stabbed in gang-related attacks.
At just 14 years old, Eliza founded Lives Not Knives – an awareness campaign to prevent pre-teens carrying a knife. It’s now an organisation that employs mentors to run workshops all over the South East to teach them about the dangers of gang life.
The ultimate aim? To build the bridge between the business community and young people who are not in education, employment or training. Using a mentoring strategy, Lives Not Knives will ask business professionals to help young people create business plans, empowering them to start their own organisation.
Inspired by her time as a Centrepoint volunteer, aspiring young journalist Sophia Kichou is raising awareness of youth homelessness. It’s an experience Sophia has had herself. She knows more than anyone that the nation’s view of a homeless person is an incorrect stereotype.
80,000 young people find themselves homeless in the UK every year. They could be sitting next to you on the bus, at work even or in the park. But you wouldn’t know they’re homeless as they’re almost invisible – the stigma of stereotypes makes sure of that.
The ultimate aim? To raise awareness of the reasons why young people become homeless, and use these teachings to help those affected.
At the tender age of 16, Blessing Maregere had started up his own company. In the years that followed, he became a multi-award winning entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and passes on his skills and knowledge to young people so they can do the same.
His mission is to get young people beating the economic crisis by becoming entrepreneurs and creating their own jobs. The climate has created a huge youth issue, with 1 million 18-24 year olds currently unemployed in the UK.
The ultimate aim? Launch a UK Youth Enterprise Centre, which will be a hub for young people to develop their businesses and equipping young people with business enterprise skills.
And remember to register for your vInspired Live tickets to be there on the night!
Start by volunteering with the St John Ambulance. The RISE project needs young volunteers to assist in turning young people away from crime. If we succeed in this, we help keep more young people safe and we can equip school pupils with the first aid skills to treat people who have suffered knife attacks.
We’ve nabbed an interview with their Head of Volunteers, Liam Hennessey, to tell us more.
1. Why would you recommend volunteering with the St John Ambulance service to young people? Who should apply?
We need volunteers to help facilitate first aid workshops for young people in their local communities. The workshops focus on anti gun and knife crime.
All volunteers on the St John Ambulance RISE Project will receive free first aid training. This is a useful skill to develop for working in all kinds of jobs, plus it offers great experience that will help your future career. Our volunteers are keen to pursue careers in areas such as youth work or teaching.
We offer a BTEC in Peer Education for all volunteers, which is a really useful qualification to have. The BTEC focuses on skills and qualities you need to lead teams of people.
2. What should a volunteer expect to happen when they sign up with you – what’s the process, and what do they learn?
The first step is that all potential volunteers will be invited into our office in East London to meet our team. This is an informal meeting to explain the RISE project and our volunteering opportunities. I can answer any questions you may have about becoming a volunteer. I’ll share training dates, and hopefully by the end you’ll have decided that you want to sign up!
3. Why is it important that you have volunteers out there to raise awareness of knife crime and how to deal with the injuries sustained from it?
Unfortunately gun and knife crime is still prevalent in modern society. We are running workshops in local schools, youth clubs and community groups to raise awareness of the dangers involved in this lifestyle.
Our workshops also provide emergency first aid techniques to young people so they can deal with this type of injury if it happens near them.
4. Have any volunteers continued into a career as a result of volunteering with the St John Ambulance service?
Absolutely! Many staff at St John Ambulance began as volunteers.
One employee began as an attendee at our first aid workshop. They decided to volunteer with us, and we soon employed them.
Lots of volunteers have gone on to find employment elsewhere after working alongside the St John Ambulance RISE Project.
5. What skills and attributes would your ideal volunteering candidates possess?
No prior experience of first aid or working with young people is needed. We provide full training to develop skills in both of these areas.
The ideal candidate will be highly motivated to work alongside young people and make a difference to the lives of those in their local communities. We also need you to be reliable and dedicated. After the volunteer training is complete we expect volunteers to work with St John Ambulance for at least ten hours per month for six months.
This is a fantastic opportunity to volunteer in healthcare while gaining a qualification and developing transferable skills.
Whether you want to lead a scout group, a community project or the country, a great leader needs key skills to get where they need to be. vInspired supports young people as they develop and shape their future as working adults so you’re ready to achieve your dreams from the get-go.
Here are eight things you can do to be a great leader.
1. Be a problem solver
Not every day is a perfect one. Problems come up all over the place. If you can be the one to solve them, you prove that you’re reliable. Being the glue that holds a great plan together is a mark of successful leadership.
Be the one to look ahead and identify where something may go wrong. If you flag a problem before it has a huge impact, you make yours and everyone else’s job easier.
2. Lead by example
No one listens to a hypocrite. If you are voicing opinions and dishing out instructions, you’ll be expected to reflect them. Practice what you preach so others have a reason to believe in what you say.
3. Consider others
A selfish leader will lose faithful colleagues, and if you’re constantly left to undertake projects by yourself it gets pretty lonely at the top.
Be ready to listen and take feedback on board. It will inspire bigger and better things as projects develop, spark new ideas and build the foundations of a solid team.
4. Encourage openness and creativity
People feel great when they have the space to get creative juices flowing. A leader who lets that happen will be regarded as a great person.
Being creative sparks ideas and is a great team-building exercise. If your colleagues can speak freely about their ideas and how they feel, they’re less likely to feel unloved. Allow everyone this freedom and watch ideas and good feelings flow!
5. Be positive
Even if something goes really wrong, getting moody about it doesn’t solve anything. Even worse, it discourages everyone around you.
Get your problem solving cap on in the face of a nightmare and be the ray of sunshine that keeps everyone motivated. If everyone’s happy, they’ll feel more like they can conquer the problem (and they’ll want to).
6. Think of the big picture
Keep planning ahead so that every decision you make leads to a grand plan. It’ll help stop aimless decisions being made and reduce problems along the way.
What you should end up with is a well-planned project that sticks around for a long time – meaning you have ages to enjoy your work.
7. Take responsibility
Have you heard the saying “With great power comes great responsibility”? It’s time to take it on board and put it into practice, because a great leader doesn’t play the blame game.
If you make a bad decision, accept that it wasn’t a great move. Let people know what you’ve learnt from it and what your next steps are. You’ll gain much more respect for righting the wrong and being upfront about mistakes.
8. Learn from the best
You’re going to need to demonstrate all these great skills to employers one day, and we’ve got just the thing you need. Team v recruitment is now open!
Being recognised as a Team v leader highlights that you can dedicate yourself to a project. That entails mature decision-making and teamwork, so you can add those transferable skills to the top of your CV.
The project experience speaks for itself. You’ll learn:
- Project management
Consider Team v the toolkit you need to show the world you’re a great leader. Apply now!
The RRP Leeds and RRP Rochdale stores will run by teams of volunteers aged 16-25, who have been given retail training and support by vInspired, in partnership with Retail Trust. Shopping trip anyone?
Tricks of the trade
Building and running a shop from scratch is an art. Our volunteers gained in-depth training from our favourite high street shops including JD Sports, Hotel Chocolat, Disney and Dixons. They even visited Swarovski’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Street.
Our RRP volunteers were mentored at Swarovski by an inspirational leader called Remi. He explained his journey from a pot washer in a small Kentish pub at the age of 16, all the way up to Store Manager in just 5 years. His story demonstrated how opportunities to make great things happen are out there for young people in the retail industry.
Here are the tips we learnt from the retail professionals.
1. Every detail counts
You need to have an edge on your competition. If you want customers to come back to you, you need to work on the little things that draw them to you. Attention to detail is key.
- Schedule tidy ups. Give the shop a once-over every hour, or at least get the place straightened up during quiet periods.
- Don’t get caught daydreaming or with a sad face. A welcoming smile can make all the difference to your customer’s experience.
- Notice a process in your shop that could be better? Be the one to improve it. If it helps other staff they’ll be happier, and that will rub off on customers.
2. Patience is key
Any retail employee knows that you’ll have bad days. Things can go wrong, and that’s ok if you’ve got the correct attitude and approach to deal with it.
If a customer complains to you, never get angry. It’s best to start with an apology and good old empathy. Talk through the problem even if you’ve heard the same thing a million times. Treat this like the first complaint you’ve heard. Work with a manager to reach a solution.
3. Go above and beyond
Your happiest customers are those who receive amazing customer service. Think about how you can make their visit as smooth as possible by being helpful.
- Don’t stock the product they need? Look up where else they could find it. Give them an address, telephone number and directions if possible.
- Think they might need some accessories or extra services to go with the product they’re buying? Show them what they could buy to enhance their item (without giving them the hard sell).
- Escort them to anything they want to find rather than just pointing, and make sure they know you’re on hand to help at all times.
4. Aim high
Always remember that if you work hard and show an interest in learning about retail outside of your role, it demonstrates enthusiasm to succeed.
Our RRP stores
The first Retail Ready People store opens in Rochdale on Saturday 11 May.
The Rochdale shop will be a creative and crafty space championed by local craftsman and designers. Rochdale visitors will be able to get hands-on with their purchase by customising clothes, bags and more. Meanwhile Leeds volunteers created a social shop space with free tea for all. They’ll showcase the work of local artists with handmade gifts, and will even be hosting events in-store.
Fancy a visit? Head down to Unit 1 of Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre, Rochdale this Saturday 11 May and Leeds City Centre on Saturday 18 May for launch day activities and giveaways.
The Educational Maintenance Allowance has been cut. One in five 16 to 24 year olds are unemployed. There are an average of 52 job applications for every graduate position, and recently 1700 people applied for eight positions at Costa in Nottingham.
Breaking the cycle
For many young people the thought of getting a job or going to uni, being able to move out of your parent’s house and starting your own life can seem like distant prospects. It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of no experience = no job, no job = no experience; or no money = no chance to try out your own business ideas = no money.
Sometimes all that’s needed to break the cycle is a little help. A way to develop your skills, try out your ideas and demonstrate a real interest in something. That’s what vInspired cashpoint was set up for.
How will cashpoint help?
Running a vInspired cashpoint project means that you can choose something that interests you, or an idea you’ve always wanted to try, and pursue your own ambitions whilst doing something good for your community. You get to oversee an entire project, which means leading a team, building confidence and communication skills and managing your own budget. The impact on your CV can be remarkable, and it gives you a wealth of experience to draw on in job interviews and future endeavours.
What have other people done?
Some people use their cashpoint grants to develop business ideas and stretch their entrepreneurial muscles:
- Amandeep, 23, was awarded £500 to run her Creative Minds, Changing Lives project which got members of the community to develop their own product from scratch. They came up with an idea, designed it, created it and sold it (using the proceeds to help promote local charity work).
- Jivan, 16, is launching a website that brings together young people and work experience, internships and creative opportunities. It launched at an event packed with workshops, business and organisation stalls and information for young people.
- Cheryl, 23, is starting up her own youth newspaper for London boroughs which will support young people to write their own content and gain experience in media and journalism, whilst engaging with the issues that they and their peers are interested in.
So it might be a pretty difficult to time to be a young person, but that doesn’t mean that opportunities and support aren’t out there. It just means that you have to take chances and break new ground. Make sure that you get yourself the skills and experience you need to stand out from the crowd and succeed. As they say, necessity breeds ingenuity.
The vInspired bods behind Igniter know exactly how you can get the public to financially support your inspired ideas.
In January we launched Igniter, a brand new crowdfunding platform for young people to raise the funds they need from members of the public to run their own projects. It was a great success with all 8 projects fully funded within the first 3 weeks. We’re looking for more young people to share their creativity with us so we can help you to get the money you need to do something amazing.
After all, what good are great ideas without a way to tell everyone about them?
Whether you have the tiniest seed of an idea or have a project you’ve been running for a while, we want to hear from you. Projects that have been featured so far vary from promoting mental health to supporting young people into employment to starting a social enterprise to raise money for charity.
As today is World Creativity and Innovation Day, we’ve put together some top tips from our own creators and innovators.
Top tips for crowdfunding:
- Promote! Promote! Promote! Tweet everyone, email everyone, Facebook everyone, ask your friends, family, colleagues, boss etc. Don’t just do it once either, make sure you keep doing it throughout the time that your page is open.
- Have a realistic goal – don’t set your target too high. It may put people off donating and if you don’t reach it, you won’t get any money at all.
- Have a realistic time frame. Short time frames work better. With long time frames people think ‘I’ll do it later’ and never do.
- Make friends with others on Igniter (you can easily do this via Twitter) and help to promote each other’s projects – it really does work!
- Publicly say thank you to people who have donated via your social media accounts.
- Be clear about the aims of your project and be clear about what you want the money for. Create a video which explains all of this in a couple of minutes.
To find out more and apply visit: www.vinspired.com/igniter. Happy Creativity and Innovation Day!
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Move out the way Wireless Festival, step aside TED Talks – the free event of the summer has landed. Join in now for the chance to make a change in the world and win £100 iTunes vouchers.
What is vInspired Live?
vInspired Live is our charity’s next big thing. A time to celebrate the power of young people, bring that power to life before the eyes of the nation and change the world for the better. A night where you join a mass of celebrities to do something great.
Where and when?
vInspired Live takes place 3-6pm on Saturday 6 July 2013 at Camden Roundhouse, London.
Lots of you will be on summer break, and with enough time to get your friends signed up.
How do I get involved?
For the next month, we’re asking you to vote for or suggest a cause for us to support at vInspired Live. With over half of the UK’s young people opting to support causes and raise awareness via social media, we reckon this is the best way to make an impact.
You don’t need to take to the streets waving flags to get people to notice your campaign. Only one in ten young people think this is an effective way to raise awareness, and 28% of 16-21 year olds think the best place to take a stand is on social media.
It might be tackling poverty. It might be improving education. It might be rescuing animals, or it could be something we haven’t even heard of before.
We want to support a cause young people really care about, so you can carry on changing the world in your own way.
And what’s next?
Our superstar line up will be announced next month (we can’t resist a bit of suspense).
Those who select the most popular causes will have the honour of being teamed up with a celebrity mentor to help them promote their cause. The cause with the most votes will be the one supported at vInspired Live – it’s as simple as that.
From mid-May we’ll tell you how you can register for tickets to vInspired Live.
Spread the word
Keep an eye on our Do Something Facebook page , where we’ll be highlighting some wrongs that we can help right.
Change Something – phase one of vInspired Live – officially launches TODAY, so get as many people involved as you can.
With the final wave of Glastonbury 2013 ticket sales almost upon us and a pleasant improvement in the weather, everyone’s thoughts are finally turning to summer. For the music lovers among you, this means one thing – festivals!
Without cash on the hip, festival tickets are a pricey thing to get your hands on. So we have an alternative for you, and a free one at that.
You guessed it – volunteering is clearly the hottest festival fashion this season.
Volunteer with Hotbox
Hoxbox famously lead the way in steward volunteering for the Latitude, Reading and Leeds festivals. They’ve been around since 2003, and now supply around two thousand volunteer event staff every year.
You’ll need to work 3×8 hour shifts over the festival, then the rest of the time is your own. Watch out for headliners this year including Biffy Clyro, Eminem and the almighty Greenday.
Role: Arena and campsite stewarding
Festival dates: 21-26 August
- Helping festival goers carry their belongings and pitch their tents.
- Answering questions about performances and line-ups.
- Reporting any problems e.g. a build-up of litter or faulty facilities.
- Working with Fire Safety, Medical and Security teams.
- Helping out with various roles across the festival site e.g. pedestrian and vehicle gates, wristband exchanges, keeping an eye on facilities, monitoring stages and walkways.
- Assisting festival goers with directions.
Volunteer with Seed Staff
Calling all beach babes, surfer dudes and country bumpkins, we’ve got a fistful of wicked opportunities for you.
Seed Staff are looking for festival volunteers all over the country for a variety of this year’s big events. Notable names on their books include the Relentless Boardmasters Festival, Beach Break and Secret Garden Party. Foodie festival roles are also in high demand right now… yum!
Festival dates: Assorted
Responsibilities: These will vary depending on the event and role you apply for, which includes the following:
- Crew (building the festival and heavy physical work).
- Décor Team (making, painting and creating festival surroundings).
- Production Office Support (assisting in the onsite office with admin and errands).
- Transport Assistants.
- Programme Sellers.
- Press Office Assistants.
Volunteer for London Pride
Join the city’s community of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and celebrate Pride Day with them. Stewards are needed to help man the huge celebration parade, maintaining a fun and safe environment as it weaves its way through London.
Put simply – this festival can’t take place without volunteers, so sign up today!
Role: Parade stewarding
Festival date: 29 June
- Provide information, direct and guide people taking part in and spectating at LLCP as well as the general public who are in and around the event areas.
- Work alongside a variety of different teams.
- Most stewards will work on the main LLCP festival day but a number will be asked to work with their teams earlier and help with planning and organising parts of the main festival day.
- Provide confidence in the event and alert managers to any risks or safety concerns.
We have tons of other festival opportunities. Take a look and do something amazing this summer!
What did we cover?
Our workshop covered the ins and outs of vInspired as a charity and the benefits of the vInspired Schools programme, which has now launched.
Curiosity was actively encouraged, so there were plenty of questions to answer about the scheme. After learning about how to get involved, we talked about the types of volunteering that students would like to get involved in to help their local communities and give their CVs and UCAS applications an extra edge at the same time.
By the end of the session some of the students had volunteered to be student ambassadors, agreeing to deliver training to younger students and promote the programme. Other students had great ideas for social action projects that they would like to run with the help of Cashpoint funding. Of course, we’ll be working with any Cashpoint applicants to help get their projects off the ground.
What volunteering are they doing already?
The Ursuline Academy already has an active volunteering programme for their students. We are currently working with the staff there to identify how the programme can support the whole school whilst identifying new opportunities, and to encourage students who may not have tried volunteering before to give it a go.
What did they think?
Ms Finlay, who will be overseeing the programme in The Ursuline Academy, said,
“The Ursuline Academy Ilford is excited to be working with Catrina and the vInspired schools programme. We hope that it will help us to support the great volunteering activities that already happen in school, as well as encouraging students who are new to volunteering to get involved. In the absence of formal work experience, volunteering provides a great opportunity for students to develop skills which will prepare them for the work or further education and which they can add to their CVs and personal statements.”
vInspired Schools aims to bring all the benefits of volunteering to students. We want you to realise your potential by learning the value of doing good things for yourselves and for others – what could be bad about that?
All signed up schools will receive a range of free, flexible tools to support them in the school environment. If you’d like to chat to us about getting your school signed up, contact the schools coordinators Catrina and Kayleigh.