Helping young people through volunteering

There are some excellent organisations working with young people in Leeds who need your help.

Last week the Princes Trust published their shocking and sad research that 9% of young people in the UK feel they have ‘nothing to live for’. Unemployment is the most cited reason for feeling that way, and the report found 40% of jobless young people had faced symptoms of mental illness, including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks, as a direct result of unemployment.

At the Volunteer Centre we are doing our bit to try and help this situation by finding volunteering opportunities for young people as well as encouraging people of all ages to tackle this problem in our city. There are some excellent organisations working with young people in Leeds who need your help. Have a think about volunteering with one of these great organisations in Leeds:

Leeds Mentoring

This is a chance to be matched up with a young person who needs some extra support, and meet them for an hour a week for one academic year. The  main recruitment is in the summer for a September start, but they also have training and recruitment throughout the year, so it’s never too late! Leeds Mentoring’s aim is to raise the achievement of young people in Leeds by enhancing development and learning opportunities.  

Aspire – Community Links

Aspire are recruiting volunteers to help run social and recreational support groups and would welcome applications from people who are open, empathetic and are up for taking on this exciting role. In return, volunteers will be offered relevant training, support from staff and development opportunities. The organisation works with young people who are experiencing early signs of psychosis. Our team can offer different ways of supporting young people such as: practical support with housing, money and work or education; medical help and advice; support and advice on managing difficult thoughts and experiences.

Christ Church Armley

This project urgently needs volunteers to join the team across a range of youth facing groups working with various age groups on a variety of days. Volunteers will be required to assist the group leaders in hosting a range of activities such as crafts and cooking, sports activities, outdoor activities, support and mentoring. Applicants should be motivated and have a passion for working with disadvantaged children and young people. Experience is not necessarily required as training and supervision will be given. They need good communicators who are able to work alongside often quite troubled young people. Christ Church aims to encourage young people to grow in confidence, to value and support each other and to provide a positive role model for them.

Hyde Park Source

This organisation is looking for volunteers to join their Elmete SILC Youth Project to help with mentoring and supporting young people aged between 11-16 years. Hyde Park Source is an environmental community organisation which works with local residents, volunteers and young people. They reclaim and renovate derelict, disused and underused areas in Leeds, transforming them into highly visual gardens and creative play spaces for community use.


So that was just a taster! If you want to know more about any of these opportunities or find another way to volunteer your time, get in touch with the Volunteer Centre. You can pop in at:

Volunteer Centre Leeds
City Centre One Stop
2 Great George Street

See our opening times. Alternatively, you can give us a ring (0113 395 0405), email us ( or find us on Twitter (@VolunteerLeeds) or Facebook.

A very happy new year and I hope you have a wonderful volunteering-filled 2014.

Laura McFarlane-Shopes
Volunteer Centre Outreach and Information Coordinator

Comments (1)

  1. Natasha Mort:
    Jan 07, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    The Princes Trust article really hit home and it is a refection on the strong Third and Statutory Sector in Leeds that there are services focused on supporting young people. Last year five and a half thousand people under 25 contacted us about volunteering opportunities in Leeds of which half were 17 or under , but did you know that the majority of opportunities available are for over 18s only. If you are an organisation that takes on volunteers under 18 please get in touch with the Volunteer Centre - we would love to hear from you.

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