19 year-old Joseph Roncarelli from London started volunteering four and a half months ago at Camley Street Natural Park.
Living with autism, Joseph has faced many challenges, but volunteering has provided a new lease of life and fresh enthusiasm for his future prospects.
Being unemployed for two years, Joseph’s volunteering has not only proven an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but also enhanced his CV and he’s now looking forward to future employment.
Geoff Stanning from national charity Coram, which supports the UK’s most vulnerable children, works with Joseph and decided to nominate him. Geoff said: “Joe always has a smile on his face and brightens up the atmosphere with his enthusiasm and willingness to take on any task. He rarely misses a day and is now the lead volunteer on Wednesdays. We’re very proud of him.”
Meet the winner!
Hi Joseph, how does it feel to win volunteer of the month?
I feel quite proud of the amount of hours I have put in. I stay late and always try to put in more hours when I can, so it feels good to be rewarded for that.
When did you start volunteering and why?
I started volunteering four and half months back at Camley Street Natural Park. After struggling to find a job for two years, I spoke to Connexions and they told me about this opportunity.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering and how do you feel volunteering has changed you (have you learnt new skills or see the world a bit differently)?
From 16 plus I was sitting around not really knowing what I wanted to do. Now I feel I have made a difference and would like to make something of myself. Before I didn’t talk to people because of my autism but now I feel more confident.
I’ve met new friends and they have helped me with a lot of things. I meet new people as I go along (both customers and visitors). Being able to answer people’s questions makes me feel helpful.
What do you think young people can offer to their communities?
Young people should do what they can to help the community. Whatever part of the country you are from, if there is anything wrong, if you have a major concern – ask to help out.
There will never be a day that the world is perfect but you can help make it as perfect as you can.
What would you say to encourage other young people to sign up to vInspired.com?
Do your best and get motivated. Never give up. Volunteering teaches you these things.
Coram is a provider of 24/24, engaging young people in voluntary work, training and social action, with the aim of equipping young people with the skills and experiences needed to secure future employment or progress to higher education.
Has a young volunteer you work with made an outstanding contribution that has gone above and beyond what was expected of them? They could be our next Volunteer of the Month!
- Join this year’s biggest youth movement, vInspired’s launch of Do Something in the UK.
- Be part of the Reverse Riots campaign.
- Help change the negative misconceptions of young people
- Help restore the image of Britain’s youth
- Make a difference
The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here…. Do Something’s first campaign in the UK, #
ReverseRiots has now launched and I for one can’t wait for the revolution it’s going to bring!
We are calling on anyone aged 14 – 25 to take a photo of themselves with positive statements about the good they do with the hashtag #ReverseRiots.
We need as many people as possible to upload their pictures to our gallery at vInspired.com/dosomething and making it their social media profile picture.
We are looking to get thousands of pictures in time for the anniversary of the riots to show the world what young people are really about, at a time when many will be thinking negatively.
Here are some of the AMAZING pictures of young people we’ve taken so far:
We were overwhelmed by some of the amazing messages young people had to share – it’s clear we NEED to change people’s negative perception of young people as they are just not true, nor fair.
Indeed, the reasons we are launching Reverse Riots are clear. Our research shows:
• 2 in 3 blame young people for last year’s riots.
• Over a third of young people have volunteered in their community in the last year, more than any other age group
• The reputation of British youth is in desperate need of repair
• We need to change the negative misperceptions of young people to give them the opportunities they deserve
• Young people have an amazing positive message to share; it’s time the world listened to it.
It’s no wonder so many celebrities want to be part of the campaign – they feel it’s time for change too. Reverse Riots is being supported by a wide range of famous faces including, Plan B, Paloma Faith, Sam & Billie Faiers, The Wombats, Labrinth, Flux Pavillion, Roots Manuva, Yasmin and Stooshe.
Yesterday, we even got a show of support from the master of Twitter himself, Stephen Fry!
Want to be part of the revolution? Get involved here and upload your photo now.
If what you’ve heard isn’t already enough reason to be involved, those who participate in the campaign and spread positivity will be in with a chance to become their idol’s profile picture on Facebook and Twitter on the anniversary of the riots, Monday 6th August!
This is your moment – what are you waiting for?
Are you passionate about making a difference? Dream of changing the world? 18-25 years old and living in England?
As a Team v leader you will recruit and lead a team of volunteers to tackle three BIG social issues and use your creative brilliance to make real change happen in communities across England.
Reasons why you can’t afford not to apply
- It’s a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience and you’ll make amazing friends along the way
- The difference you’ve always wanted to make – we’ll empower you to make it
- The campaigner and leader you’ve always wanted to be – we’ll support you to become it
- The top-quality training you need to do amazing things you’ve only dreamed of doing – we’ll provide it
- You will receive a £1,000 scholarship on completion of the programme to support your ongoing development
It takes a certain sort of person to be a Team v leader. It’s a passion and energy that’s hard to communicate on an application form, but it’s that enthusiasm that makes the air fizz when we get you all in a room – and we can’t wait to bring you all together!
Over the next few weeks here at Team v HQ, we’ll be busy meeting and greeting our first group of Team v hopefuls.
We’re incredibly excited that in less than 2 weeks’ time, we’ll be face to face with some of the young people we’ll be working with over the next year to develop them as campaigners and leaders.
So if you missed out on applications first time round… what are you waiting for?! Apply now and be part of a unique network of young people, changing the world one campaign at a time.
Recruitment is open for another 6 weeks before we swiftly turn around our second interviews to make sure all our leaders are in position and ready to start recruiting their own teams of volunteers come September.
Hope to see you there. Good luck! Apply here
Fancy doing something different this summer?
Oxfam recruit over 5000 volunteers a year to support the UK’s best festivals.
We spoke to Malorie Perry, 23 about how she got hooked on stewarding at festivals with Oxfam…
‘I first stumbled across festival stewarding 4 years ago when I was browsing the Oxfam website looking for volunteering opportunities. Being a penniless student at the time, an avid gig go-er and looking to do something for charity, this seemed perfect.
My first festival was Glastonbury, where Oxfam provide some 2000-plus stewards. I thought I would go by myself in an attempt to build my confidence and meet new people, I soon learnt that there are actually a lot of lone stewards, but you are certainly not lone for very long. It is so easy to get involved and everyone is so welcoming. At my first festival I met a lovely group of people and we have stewarded together every year since.
People of all background and ages
Volunteering-wise, all roles I have done involve the public, from checking tickets at the VIP vehicle gate at Glastonbury to wrist-banding at Download. Alongside loving the voluntary stuff, at every festival there is such a variety of stewards, experienced, new, young, old, children are even welcome to come along with their parents. My Mum is even hooked on Womad!
Admittedly the thought of three eight hour shifts in the rain did not exactly sound like a ball but I soon learnt that the shifts are loads of fun and add to the overall festival experience. Oxfam are always on hand with cups of tea in the pouring rain, sun cream when the sun decides to make an appearance or anything else you might need…. like crowns if there happens to be a Jubilee party… they really have thought of everything!
Making a difference has never been so much fun
The Oxfam campsite has excellent facilities, showers (with shorter queues), loos (with a much higher toilet to person ratio), you feel safe leaving your things in your tent and I have never been disappointed with the catering they provide. In fact, Nuts catering at Glastonbury is something I look forward to all year round.
At the end of the day you are making friends, having loads of fun whilst having the self satisfaction that you are helping raise money for an amazing charity. By yourself or with a group of friends I would recommend stewarding with Oxfam this summer and every summer’.
To sign up as an Oxfam steward visit www.oxfam.org.uk/stewarding to get access to amazing entertainment whilst getting hands on with fundraising for humanitarian projects.
Kirsty Liddle was the lucky winner of our competition with Goji to win exclusive tickets to the launch of Tinchy Stryder’s latest range of headphones.
With tickets to the launch party secured, Kirsty was also asked to write a blog about her night at the exclusive gig, which has been published on the Goji Collective blog.
Here’s her report from the night in full. Congratulations again Kirsty!
There are three things I never do: I never take taxis into London; I never glance out of the window and see the entire city glittering beneath me; and lastly, I never attend celebrity media launches. But last night I did all three. As the lucky winner of a competition run by the leading youth volunteer charity, vInspired, I attended the official launch of the Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 collection, a range of headphones and accessories designed by Tinchy.
My task was to blog about the event and, as a student journalist, this was a dream come true. I can honestly say that from the moment I arrived on the 31st floor of London’s iconic Centre Point building, it was one of the best nights of my life. There were endless complimentary canapés and drinks, and I was surrounded by journalists, record company executives and the wonderful girls from Goji.
The live performances from Angel – a rising star in my opinion and a fantastic addition to the R&B scene – and, of course Tinchy himself, were incredible. The atmosphere was amazing. I’ve never been that close to a musician before; It’s a completely different sensation to being at a gig, much more personal. And a surprise duet by Tinchy and Sugababe Amelle Berrabah rounded off the whole experience perfectly.
I have to say at this point that I originally signed up to vInspired for a different reason. I was looking to do some volunteering in my local area and as vInspired is a youth orientated charity I thought it would be a perfect match. VInspired is aimed at 14-25 year-olds and it connects young people with opportunities in their area, giving them the chance to do something wonderful. Plus, it gives volunteers the opportunity to boost their CV and earn a coveted vInspired award.
Commercial Development Manager Sarah Hertzog came to vInspired having previously worked for The Prince’s Trust. The Goji launch was her first project for the organisation and she said, “Tinchy really appeals to the youth market so we are very excited to be working with Goji and hope that both sides will benefit as a result. Tinchy supports vInspired and has performed at our award ceremonies for the last two years.”
As well as the incredible experience of seeing Tinchy perform live at such an intimate gig, we got the chance to try out the headphones in listening zones. I picked out the over-ear headphones, which are really comfortable and have great sound quality.
Overall it was a fantastic evening, which gave me a real insight as to what my future working life as a journalist might entail. I have to say I’ve got a bit of a taste for these events and can’t wait to attend my next one!
Here at vInspired, we are delighted to announce that we are launching Do Something in the UK as our newest programme!
You may or may not have heard of the powerhouse that is the Do Something movement, but we wanted to take a moment to explain why we have decided to bring this over from the US to help create a new generation of British social activists.
Do Something is one of the best known charities in the USA, and much like vInspired, harnesses the creativity and energy of young people, aged 14 – 25 to tackle issues they care about, using digital platforms to inspire offline action.
One of the things we love the most about how Do Something roll, and the key to their success is this: they know young people. They give young people what they want. And we want to do the same. There’s a reason they have just been named in the top 20 social brands in the world; they’ve got something to say that young people want to hear!
They gain appeal through celebrity endorsement, incentivisation through scholarships, desirable products and money-can’t-buy experiences.
With A-list supporters such as David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Will Ferrell and Kim Kardashian, who have all endorsed Do Something’s support for young people; it’s easy to see why 1 in 3 schools in America can’t get enough of Do Something!
And now, neither can we. Watch this space for our first Do Something campaign launching very soon.
In true Do Something style, watch out for all the celebs we’ve got involved too, and of course the great prizes you can win from taking part with the small, simple action.
You can sign up for updates on how to get involved right now!
Where it differs from what we at vInspired currently offer, is the opportunity for young people to take small, easy positive actions that contribute to a mass change.
We want to extend our offer, and make sure we have something for everyone, whether you can give one minute or 100 hours of your time. With lots of young people behind a Do Something campaign, it only takes a small action from each person to make a big change!
And we cannot wait to make some big changes.
We’re delighted to announce that the winner of our Goji headphones launch party competition is Kirsty Liddle!
Kirsty, 23, from Kingston and a guest will be going along to an exclusive launch party of Tinchy Stryder’s all-new Goji headphones on Thursday night, where Tinchy himself will be performing.
Kirsty will be live-tweeting and writing us a blog about her experience on the night, so watch this space!
We asked people to send in their answers to the following question:
What piece of technology couldn’t you live without on a (wi-fi equipped!) desert island and why?
Here’s Kirsy’s prize-winning answer….
“Oh god where is it!” I scrabble through my bag frantically, digging like a mole until my hand touches something…
I switch it on praying I hear the comforting bleep, glancing at the black shell knowing that everything I care about lies within.
My friends’ lives are humming away on Facebook, a wonderful link to the outside world.
The green light that lets me call the people I love and favourite songs to drift away the days with.
My phone. So small it fits in the palm of my hand – yet without it, I would be lost.”
The following runners-up will each receive a pair of brand-new Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 headphones:
Huge congratulations to Kirsty and all our winners – and a big “well done” to all our awesome entrants. We were geuninely impressed, entertained and inspired by each one of them!
Last weekend, our amazing Team v leaders graduated in style at an inspiring and emotional ceremony in London!
Here’s the latest results video from their third and final campaign
18-25? Inspired to get involved and change the world? Recruitment for our second intake of Team v leaders is still open. Apply now!
Need further inspiration?
Well you can by registering for our exclusive competition over on vinspired.com!
We’re really excited to have teamed up with technology brand Goji to offer you another money-can’t-buy experience with our latest competition!
MOBO award winner and vInspired supporter Tinchy Stryder has joined forces with Goji to launch a brand new collection of headphones and accessories, Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9.
To celebrate, we’ve got a pair of exclusive VIP tickets to its star-studded launch party, in London on 21st June, where Tinchy himself will be performing!
You’ll be our very own showbiz correspondent for the night, live tweeting throughout the event and writing a blog about the experience to be published on the Goji Collective and vInspired websites.
The prize includes £50 spending money towards travel and accommodation and a pair of brand-new Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 headphones.
Eight runners up will also be some of the first in the country to get their hands on a pair of the hottest new headphones!
For your chance to mix with the stars, simply register for the competition over on vinspired.com, where you’ll be asked to answer the following question in 100 words or less (remember, we’re looking for a budding showbiz correspondent, so make it snappy!)
What piece of technology couldn’t you live without on a (wi-fi equipped!) desert island and why?
Deadline for entries is 23:55, Sunday 17 June. Please read our full terms and conditions before entering.
The Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 collection will be available at Currys & PC World stores nationwide from mid-July. Visit www.gojicollective.co.uk for more information.