Archive for the ‘vInspired news & updates’ Category
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.
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.
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.
We’re hard wired to gain pleasure from helping others succeed – not just from our own success.
Society has changed its opinion on what real “progress” is. On a worldwide scale, it’s been decided that progress should be measured by how happy society is, not just how rich and developed we have become. To launch and celebrate this concept, all 193 of the United Nations are coining March 20th as the International Day Of Happiness. The focus is to do something that will make someone else happy. We have a few ideas around how you can use vInspired to do just that…
Be a mentor
What could be more fulfilling than taking someone under your wing and sharing your knowledge with them to help them succeed?
There are tons of mentoring opportunities to be filled up and down the country. Got a flair for business and strategy? Help someone achieve their dream by guiding them towards a successful entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, if you’re a good listener and see yourself being able to provide someone with emotional support , volunteer to help others through rough times. It’s not an easy job, but being someone’s rock and solace not only helps them lead a happier life, but also helps those around them.
There are some mentoring schemes you can do online too – so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.
Be a sports coach
Exercise and keeping fit not only helps build up those muscles and offer all those obvious health advantages, but it also makes you a happier person. Every time you exercise, your body releases endorphins which lift your mood and work wonders for your mindset. Why not help spread happiness this way by volunteering to teach sport?
Although we do have spaces for Skateboarding coaches, athletics coaches and a whole host of other active placements, the sports world requires more than just people who can put one foot in front of the other. Offer cheer-point support for marathon runners or even offer your services as an event photographer - the support that athletes get is just as important as the events themselves.
Contribute to your community
If you haven’t heard of the vInspired cashpoint scheme and have a problem you want to solve in your community, we can help.
Bring your project to life by applying for a grant of up to £500 to enhance the lives of those around you. Plus you’ll get to add project management skills to your CV. What’s not to like? Use this International Day Of Happiness to start something amazing that affects everybody in your community.
Have we persuaded you to join the happiness revolution? Be sure to shout about it on Cheers – the new social network to spread happiness!
At vInspired, we’re often asked why we think having a track record in volunteering is so important. After all, young people work hard, have access to education, and have the power to guide future generations. Why would they need to do anything extra?
The truth is that one of the hardest battles young people face today is the job market. No matter how much we’re told that we will come out of the recession unscathed, it’s the UK youth who are among the worst affected. Fighting for jobs is a gruelling process – so we’ve brought some good friends of ours along to talk about that.
Not Going To Uni are a hub for those who have decided against going to university, serving as the stopping place for help and advice on the next steps of their career. They’ve uncovered some shocking facts about our tough job market. Have you experienced something similar?
The government says there are plenty of jobs out there to be had. But the reality is, according to TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, “there are far more people chasing those jobs.
“That’s why, rather than demonising unemployed people as scroungers, we need to get the economy growing and support them into work.”
Well, out of the 1,701 applicants for a job at a new branch of Costa Coffee, 1,693 still run the risk of being demonised as scroungers – and that’s scary.
Eight vacancies, 1,701 applicants. For jobs paying between £6.10 and £10.00 an hour.
- Graduates unable to find work after leaving uni
- Senior retail managers with over fifteen years’ experience
- Ex-employees from high street chains that have been forced to call in the administrators, like Clinton Cards, Comet, Jessops and HMV
- And, lastly, people who just needed a job.
What’s even more scary is the fact that those eight vacancies were listed on just one single website – oh, and a sign on the building while renovations were going on before the grand opening.
Midlands Manager for Costa, Sham Ramparia, says about the applicants: “Many had a background in retail and some of them were senior retail managers at the likes of Comet and HMV with about 10 to 15 years of experience. Many applicants were hugely over-qualified”.
Very scary indeed.
One of the lucky eight to be accepted was 25-year-old Steven Tomlinson, another victim of their employer going into administration. He’d been working at a smoothie and milkshake bar, and says: “I have always loved coffee, so I thought: why not go for it?”
Another successful applicant, Heather Davies, also 25, says: “I feel incredibly lucky to have been taken on. This is the perfect job for me.”
Very lucky indeed.
Sound scary? Give yourself the best possible chance of employment, in the hands of people who know you can build a future for yourself by building up the right skills. Check out vInspired’s volunteering opportunities, and volunteer your way to the top of the hiring pile.
We always do our best to spread positivity online from our base at vInspired HQ. Meanwhile, Team V have been out and about keeping minds healthy.
The new campaign Make Time For Your Mind focuses on the importance of mental wellbeing, and how to take positive steps to look after your mind.
Teams across the nation set out with their Mind Trees and blank apples to start talking to the public about what they do for their mind. People were invited to share their tips for happiness by writing on their apple and adding it to the tree until a whole bushel of goodness had been created.
Team V Leader Lauren Civill-Holt took to Cardiff University to collect mind apples from the students (in return for chocolate, naturally) of the Heath Park Campus. Here are the tips her team picked up from the Make Time For Your Mind campaign…
What 5 things do you do regularly to look after your mind?
We had a lot of common themes, including:
- Learning new things and getting out of the house to appreciate great things, such as nature
- Volunteering or looking after/helping others
Exercise was a popular mention because there are so many different types. Dancing, zumba classes, walking the dog, running, the gym and bike rides all came up. My personal favourite was thinking positively and appreciating what we have got!
What alternative ideas came up?
Not all of our apples have something generic written on them – some were more artistic, some soulful and some just downright strange. We came across:
- Eating fish
- Looking after pets
- TV quizzes
Many tips were motivational too. I liked “always give 100%, that way you always get more back (feel good factor!)”, “make plans to do things you enjoy so you have something to look forward to, this keeps you focused and gives you a break, dream, laugh and leave time in the day for FUN!” And last but not least, “brain training games on the DS! (such fun!)”.
Thanks to everyone that filled out an apple card – you’ve helped each other by sharing your ideas.
What five things do you do to keep your mind healthy?
Want the chance to recommend a friend to Retail Ready People and reap the benefits? Of course you do.
Our second round of RRP will be in Leeds and Rochdale, Greater Manchester and applications are now open.
Retail Ready People is a great way to volunteer, either on your own or with friends. As you will meet the whole team on the residential and work closely with other volunteers at your location, it’s a brilliant opportunity to get to know new people. It’s also perfectly suited to friends who want to take part together.
If you persuade a friend to sign up to RRP before the end of February, we’ll enter you into the draw for £40 worth of high street vouchers (donated by 3Mobile) and two runners up from each location will receive a copy of Dan Thompson’s book, Pop Up Business for Dummies and a vInspired hoodie.
You can refer as many friends as you like, and each application that states your name as the referrer will count as one entry into the prize draw. The more friends you refer, the more chance you have to win!
Remember you must have already applied to be eligible to refer a friend.
Just get your friend to apply to RRP and make sure they mention you!
Need a little more information? Come to our taster days!
If you’ve applied to Retail Ready People, or you are considering applying but aren’t sure yet, these are a great chance to come along and see what Retail Ready People is all about. We’ll be doing lots of hands-on activities and talking a bit about the programme and pop-up shops. Check out our event pages for more information and to RSVP:
Winners will be drawn on Friday 1st March and will be contacted by email. Please read our Terms and Conditions.
These incredible young people tell us what they’d do differently if they were prime minister.
We’re chuffed to announce the names of our 18 finalists across six categories for the 2013 vInspired National Awards. Below they share what they’d change as prime minister for the day. We’d give them the job tomorrow!
All Round Commitment to Volunteering
Ryan Jay “I would change youth unemployment and child poverty.”
Beth Carty “I would increase the amount of opportunities for children and teens, so that people would stop seeing them as disrespectful youths or hoodies and see them for the positive things they can achieve.”
Rebecca McGuinness “Volunteering would be introduced at a much earlier age in schools for children, so they have the opportunity to succeed and help themselves and their communities and live a better life.”
Amy May Knowles (pictured) “The prices for operations being decreased and make Cirencester Hospital bigger with more facilities.”
George Taylor “I would ensure that the after care is there for our troops.”
Yakoob Seedat “To pay the public sector workers and community sector more for their hard work.”
Bringing Communities Together
Matthew Chambers “I would let young people have a say in what matters.”
Jessica Purchase “I would bring Jennifer Mildenhall back to Wolves Community Trust.”
Eliza Rebeiro “I think restorative justice is hugely important. I would make people who went to prison for gang membership volunteer and mentor young people at risk of going to jail for similar offences.”
NCS Tredworth (pictured)
Sophie Hill from NCS Tredworth “I would make volunteering compulsory in the curriculum, as it not only helps the community but teaches you things you never knew about yourself.”
Sophie Saye from NCS Padgate “ I would introduce more activities that involve whole communities.”
Paige Chandler from NCS Portsmouth “ I would change how young people are viewed in society today.”
Outstanding Contribution by a Youth Worker
Linda Markey “I would change the education system to ensure that it is compulsory for all young people to spend a year volunteering abroad to gain the best education through being in the real world gaining real skills.”
Fiona Tomlinson “Reinstate the buzz and feel good factor of youth volunteering that we had 2008-2011 when vInspired was government funded.”
Daniel Fry “I would have more projects for gay minorities, and give schools the option of teaching same sex education.”
Georgia Taylor from YoungStars “I would try to provide more job opportunities for the young adults who are currently struggling to find a job.”
Joe Maguire from Shaw Thing “Everyone should get a day off, but in order to receive it they would have to volunteer for at least four hours – people like days off, communities like volunteers.”
Zoe Giles from Epsom Phab “ I would change the fact that there is a lack of facilities that exist for people of all abilities to interact on equal terms.”
Have you heard our smashing news? We have a seriously exclusive opportunity for One Direction fans to own a piece of memorabilia… Drawn by 1D’s own fair hands.
Today, self-portraits sketched by One Direction’s Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik are being auctioned on the vInspired eBay account. You can keep track of the auctions on Twitter – just follow the #1DSelfPortraits hashtag!
Ourquestion is, what should the successful bidders do to make best use of their 1D doodle? We have some ideas.
Facebook profile pictures
The cost of the portraits is yet to be confirmed while the bidding takes place. But tricking your sister into thinking she’s being chatted up by a pop star? Priceless.
Pop a 1D boy’s face on the head of your hot water bottle, and hug it out together for the remainder of the winter. Don’t worry – come summer time, assign his face to the ice lolly box so he can be in charge of cooling you off.
Upgrade your friends
Copy the picture, attach elastic to each side and make your friends wear them as a mask.
Hanging out with the rich and famous must come with its perks. You’ll have your own reality TV show and be the face of L’Oreal/Nike/Pepsi in no time.
When a slice of Niall’s unfinished toast was auctioned on eBay, One Direction fans commenced a bidding war. The winner was set back a whopping £65,000 in exchange for the Vegemite-smeared bread.
The good news for the winner of one of our portraits is that they can have personalised toast forever by sticking the face on the end of a butter knife handle. Like a spreadable sidekick.
One Direction are busy lads, touring the world over on the quest for (further) fame and fortune. It’s sad to see them go, but attach your portrait to a boomerang and you’ll always get to see a 1D boy come right back to you.
Do you have a skill or hobby that you want to pick up, but aren’t quite sure where to start?
Finding the motivation to start something new can be hard. According to our research on the Beta Generation, the best time to be trying new stuff is when you’re young. 93% of 16-21 year olds have gone out of their way to learn a new skill since recession hit the UK, and 85% of that generation are taking sole responsibility for their careers. As a budding entrepreneur needs all the skills they can fit under their belt, here are four ways to add an extra string to your bow.
Tell us how you get on by using #GenBeta on Twitter!
Join a community organisation
We champion all things community focused, and there are plenty of organisations around that help you learn skills whilst socialising. Organisations like local Women’s Institutes can teach you anything from sewing to snowboarding, and frequently pull together to hold community events. Don’t see that happening in your area? We can help you start your own Women’s Institute… or maybe even a Men’s Institute if you’re feeling particularly rebellious.
A great example of side projects inspired by the WI is East London’s Pinned It! Made It! events, which is based on crafts found via Pinterest. Run by the Dalston Darlings WI founders, they hold monthly gatherings for a minimal fee to encourage women to get crafty over a glass or two of bubbly.
Listen to great people
Curious about something but want to get the research down before diving in? You can do more than pick up a book or hit up Wikipedia. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, there’s now a ton of podcasts and web chats available online, like this regular one from Team Red – a group of Digital Media experts in London sharing the wisdom of their industry.
If you’d prefer to be out and about, sign up to event sites like Eventbrite for inspirational talks and tutorials in your local area. They’re often free or charge a small fee for attendance, and are great places for gaining knowledge and inspiration.
Learn by doing – get your own project off the ground
Want to learn how to pitch, budget and manage a youth volunteering project all of your own? You could use our Cashpoint scheme. With our help you could get your own project idea off the ground with complimentary funding, and learn project management skills on the way.
We have a process in place for vInspired’s Cashpoint that means you have to convince us your idea has legs and is worth funding before any cash is allocated. So we’re really putting you to the test – we need to see that you’ve planned ahead and are envisioning a future for your project. Think of it as Dragon’s Den, but a lot less mean.
Predictable? Certainly. But volunteering really is the best way to gain hands-on experience of anything, and at vInspired.com we even divide opportunities up into categories for you. You could learn new skills in anything from construction to mentoring to performing arts. Learn while you help people, and record your hours so that you have a vInspired Award to show for it at the end. What more could you want from being taught a new skill for nothing?