Futures Matter is an innovative youth-led volunteering programme which empowers young people, both disabled and non-disabled, to turn their lives around whilst making a difference in their local community. Based on our Positive Futures London project, Futures Matter supports and trains young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), are at risk of becoming NEET or have a disability, to devise and run their own volunteering initiatives.
In Suffolk, 21% of under 16 year olds live below the poverty line and school attendance is below the national average. Suffolk has a higher percentage of young people with special educational needs (SEND) compared to England overall, as well as a high number with English as a second language. This project will help local young people to gain vital life skills necessary for adult life and future employment, break down social barriers and ultimately build communities.
Volunteering Matters will work with schools and youth services to support and train young people aged 16-25, to become Volunteer Leaders. These Leaders will devise and run volunteering initiatives for the benefit of their local community recruiting and supporting their peers (aged 13-25) to work with them.
Futures Matters enables young people to develop their interests and passions – initiatives already underway include refurbishing a trailer truck in to a coffee destination and a community gardening scheme.
Many of the young people we are working with do not have enough adult role models in their life. Part of Futures Matters project involves a mentoring scheme to help them develop positive attitudes, with a view to achieving short and long term goals. We are actively seeking Volunteer Mentors for this – please see the opportunity below.