Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’
Exciting news! Ahead of the 2012 vinspired national awards, our judging panel has whittled down the hundreds of nominees who were put forward for an award and named the winners within each region across the country.
The annual awards are the largest of their kind and a really important part of vinspired’s work. They celebrate the achievements and dedication of young volunteers and aim to challenge negative attitudes towards young people by highlighting their inspiring creativity, motivation and generosity.
Really well done to all our nominees – we hope you all have an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and feel immensely proud of your achievements. Our judges found each and every story shared totally inspiring and a real testament to the outstanding work that young volunteers do and the positive difference they make to their communities.
So what happens next? The regional winners will be shortlisted to national finalists in January 2012, with the overall national award winners revealed at a start studded awards ceremony in March. Check out the full rundown of winners by region, over on our national award pages.
Oh my gosh… it’s time to get ready for an evening filled with inspirational stories and celebrations…it’s just one day before the next live vinspired National awards! The thrill and the excitement just seem to have taken over me and I cannot wait till the night itself. I am Rochelle and I have been given the brilliant opportunity to be this year’s online volunteer for the vinspired National Awards. I am currently in my final year of Law but my passion is multimedia journalism. So, the online volunteer role, which involves blogging, using social media and possibly getting involved in interviewing guests (thankfully behind the scenes and not in front of the camera) was perfect for me.
I got involved as I wanted to play a part in hopefully inspiring other young people to volunteer and of course also get the opportunity to meet this year’s amazing finalists. Aside from this I was also really keen to learn more about v itself as I am already involved in v’s Olympic inspired initiatives with the Amateur Swimming Association and Great Ormond Street Hospital. I feel that the vinspired National Awards are not only a great way to reward young people for their outstanding efforts but also to promote a positive image of young people today.
All the finalists this year have been innovative in using creative ideas to tackle real life issues and each one of them deserves to be a winner in my eyes for their achievement and commitment. Amongst this year’s finalists the work of the Burntwood School Envision team, nominated for a Connect Award, who organised a ‘cultural week’ at their school, with an aim to encourage more young people of different races to interact and learn from one another, really stood out for me – their project strikes a personal chord with me and it feels great to know that there are young individuals in the UK who feel passionately about the same issues. The stories of Bobby Kensah (the Legend Award) and Carl Tilson, (the Shout award) also stand out for me as they have overcome tough personal difficulties to emerge as successful youth leaders. In general though, reading the stories, the standards have been absolutely amazing and I don’t envy the job of the judges!
So what does v have in store this year? Let me paint you a picture… Natasha Bedingfield, whose first album went triple platinum in the UK, will be kicking off the night collaborating with the Rock Choir, famous for their hit ‘Let me entertain you’. The ceremony will then be presented by Eddie Kadi, one to watch on the comedy scene right now (with the pre-sale tickets for his first tour at the O2 arena selling out in just 12 hours) and recent ‘Fashion Show’ presenter, Michelle De Swarte. With his first single already reaching number 5 in the music charts, Wretch 32, grime extraordinaire, then promises to top off a night to remember! Other well-known faces at the awards, showing their support, will be James Caan (Dragon’s Den), Keith Lemon (yes, the hilarious one from ‘Celebrity Juice’) and Jason Gardner (Olympic Gold Athlete). It really is fantastic to see such an inspiring selection of talent supporting such a great cause…
Phew! All of that proves that the awards ceremony is going to be an inspirational night and has something special for all. If you are also going to be there, then I look forward to seeing you on the night! If not, don’t fret…. I’ll keep your updated on all the going ons and might even have some interesting posts to share after the night itself. Get involved by tweeting me on Thursday night and sharing the love! I’d love to hear from you all.
Are you rooting for anyone in particular? Leave your comments and let me know.
What would an awards night be without a great dance act to hype up the show? Earlier this week we had the opportunity to visit Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden to see dance troup The Movement Factory, who’ll be performing live at the vinspired National Awards, joined by a very special guest, singer/dancer/model/actress and former Pussycat Dolls member, Kimberly Wyatt. Kimberly Wyatt was on hand to help choreograph the routine for the night and also took time to offer advice and answer questions. As someone with two left feet, watching the dance crew performing headstands, splits and jumps was inspiring – particularly so early on a Monday morning (how do they do it?)! If what I witnessed on Monday is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see them in action on the night!
Inspirational, young volunteers really are at the centre of the awards, from helping provide the entertainment (as you can see), to working backstage and even helping pick the winners – you can find out more about their involvement here.
History Jam was the first ever event to be run by volunteers under the guidance of Choice FM.
A core team of volunteers ranging in ages 19-24 came into Global Radio over a 4 week period to shape a community event to celebrate Black History Month as part of the vinspired ‘I Have a Choice’ matchfund project.
The event focused on the past, present and future of Black history and profiled established music artists, up and coming singers, designers and inspirational speakers - including Dragons Den Winner Levi Roots.
Over 300 people attended the free event at the West End venue Café De Paris.
As part of the event the volunteers also championed the positives of volunteering, showing through live demonstrations the benefit they had taken from the experience…
We caught up with volunteer Claudia Reid to find out more about her experiences:
So, we all arrive at Global and I must admit the place looks pretty smooth. I’ve never set foot in a corporate radio station office so I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m seeing a few familiar faces from past volunteering events so maybe this will be a breeze after all!
Hmm… I’m not feeling the enthusiasm from the team much but hey there are free crisps and nice drinks on offer, so for now I’ll just sit down, keep quiet and listen. Maybe we’ll get creative over lunch! I’m surprised how many volunteers there are all together - including myself there are only 7 of us, I think there were supposed to be 10. The manager Nadine seems nice; for some reason via email she appeared to be taller in my mind lol. I’m liking this conference room they have given us the de-brief in, I haven’t got the slightest clue of where to start on this project but as me and only one other girl on the volunteer team have had no experience in radio or events management at least well be clueless together.
So, I’m getting used to this team now and we are getting into little cliques. Nadine or as I now call her ‘boss lady’ comes down from her office a few times to check where we are with our tasks. So far so good…. I love the way the Choice FM DJs walk past us, say hi and ask what we’re up to! Everyone seems really laid back…. Maybe I could work in Radio??
I’m the only one in the office, but where are all my fellow volunteers at? Oh yeah, we are doing that ‘hot-desking’ thing, I hope I get to hot desk with one of the crazy events team members… I need some Choice FM jokes in my life!
Ok, so I’m getting used to this new routine and even the staff on the front desk are starting to notice me and remember my name as I whistle past them at usually 10: 10 (or round about) twice a week; could it be my big smile or could it just be the fact that ‘boss lady’ has to come down stairs to collect me and brief me for the day?
It doesn’t really feel like half way through and I wonder if the rest of the team are loving this as much as me. I think I love just being here more than anything and love meeting the many random people that you just don’t expect to see within radio.
Today I sat in a new area - the “charities” department. I think these people are definitely the friendliest, there always seems to be free cake and drink around and that old guy “Don’t recall his name” he keeps offering to make everyone including me cups of tea! If this is life in the corporate world I think I can live with it. Everyone seems to have something to do and be getting on with it… I’d better stay focused, the ‘boss lady ‘is sitting just behind me at her desk (I wonder if it’s odd for me to send her an email even though I can easily turn my swivel chair around and read her monitor with my email on it….? Hmm one of life’s awkward office questions!)
So, I’m only doing half a day today before I rush off to uni. I can do this I KNOW I CAN. I have several calls to make to sponsors and press contacts, I’m sure I can work my way through my list quick enough to get some good results, I’d better smile – I read somewhere that the person on the other end can tell the difference…9 calls later and I am slowly realizing this is more of a challenge than I expected – everyone goes to lunch at the same time and leaves a PA or answer machine to take messages, I’m sure some people are giving me the run around. I’m definitely learning to be persistent even if it means explaining the project and event on three separate occasions to several members of the same company based in several global locations. Email is definitely the way forward, many just want me to email them the info to review… Hey, at least I managed to get a few new email addresses – now to re-contact these people and keep my hopes up.
Day before event
At least I can say I’ve enjoyed working to some of the deadlines thus far. I can’t believe this is going to be all over tomorrow, fingers crossed all the acts turn up! We’ve all put sooo much into this event that if anyone’s late or does a no show I think I’ll hold it together and then go back stage or to a toilet or something and turn the air blue…
3 days after the event
Looking back on the whole experience it’s obvious that we’ve all grown a little. I, for one, noticed that our manager delegated more tasks to some volunteers according to what she thought they could do and what they had proved to her during the run-up to the event. On the day of History Jam when Levi Roots and Action Jackson in particular were on stage I felt so inspired knowing that I had been the one to get contacts, book them and there they were standing in front of me imparting words of wisdom! I felt inspired to go that extra mile as I knew the benefits were great. I’ve learnt to relish every milestone and appreciate at least one good thing from each of my teammates.
Sound like fun? Find out more about I Have A Choice by clicking HERE.
JLS back Brook’s sexual health campaign
‘Big issues don’t have to be a big deal’ is sexual health charity Brook’s latest campaign, and their first campaign to be fully led by young people. It was researched and developed by their team of vtalent year volunteers and has the full support of the biggest boy band in the UK, JLS!
The vtalent year volunteers are bringing a new, youth-led dimension to Brook’s campaigning. Like all vtalent year volunteers they’re volunteering for at least 30 hours a week for an incredible 44 weeks. They’re helping Brook extend their reach to young people, running focus groups and interactive workshops, helping manage and promote the campaign and as you can see helping leverage celebrity endorsement!
The campaign they developed is based on the insight that young people feel too many sexual health campaigns either seem like they are trying to put you off having sex or just tell you to use condoms. The vtalent year volunteers wanted to create a campaign that made young people feel positive about their sexuality.
More information on vtalent year can be found here:
And for more information on the work of Brook go to their website:
Surfers Against Sewage
v’s mygames programme is supporting 20 organisations across the country provide volunteering opportunities for young people inspired by the Olympic Games. Hundreds of young mygames volunteers are utilising their skills and talents to make a positive difference to their communities.
Through their mygames ‘Motivocean’ events, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have engaged over 700 young volunteers in beach cleaning activities around the UK.
Since 1994 the volume of marine litter on UK beaches has increased by 146% and SAS is helping combat this tide line of trash through its beach cleans and on-going campaigns. As well as cleaning our beaches, mygames volunteers helped SAS deliver sporting lessons for the beach cleaners and gave environmental talks.
It’s not too late to get involved as Surfers Against Sewage will be running ‘Motivocean 2’ in March 2011.
Find out more about their mygames project here:
Or go to the Surfers Against Sewage facebook page
FoodCycle Charity Times Award winners!
FoodCycle, a pioneering youth-led charity, has scooped top prize at this year’s Charity Times Awards. Leading members and figureheads of the UK’s biggest and most successful charities chose FoodCycle as the best new charity of 2010 for empowering young individuals to fight food poverty and waste.
An estimated 400,000 tons of food is thrown away per year by the food retailer industry, whilst 4 million people are affected by food poverty in the UK.
From just one kitchen in London, FoodCycle has gone on to save more than 3,500 kg of food from landfill, served 8,000 three-course meals and clocked over 3,000 volunteer hours.
Ankoor, 27, a FoodCycle champion from Lewisham says, “FoodCycle is the most worthwhile thing I have done and has been an inspiring part of my life. FoodCycle’s support, training and enthusiasm gave me and my project Hub, everything we needed to do something positive in the world.”