V to establish teams across UK

The youth volunteering charity, v, will be allocating grants worth £70 million over the next three years as part of a programme to transform youth volunteering in England, which will include establishing 'v teams' in every local authority in the country.

Young volunteers
Young volunteers

The fund will be divided into two grant streams: one will fund a network of 'v teams' covering every local authority area in England to support and build youth volunteering, the second will fund the projects that organisations that can directly deliver good quality volunteering opportunities.

Charities can apply for grants either to deliver volunteering programmes for 16 to 25-year-olds or to work with organisations in the local area to create new volunteering opportunities.

Funding will be allocated according to the size of the area and the number of young people who live there. Money will also be set aside for smaller organisations.

The move is the next stage in the implementation of the Russell Commission's recommendations, which called for a national framework to boost youth engagement by building capacity.

Interested organisations have until 10 August to submit "expressions of interest". Applicants will have to provide evidence of youth involvement. V's youth advisory board, v20, has produced guidance on this, which is available on its website.

Terry Ryall, chief executive of v, said: "Youth involvement is key to all of this. We hear from young people we work with that they often feel as if charities are scared of talking to them.

"There are some charities that offer volunteering to adults, who don't understand why the same opportunities don't also work for young people.

"There's still too often this mentality that it's the volunteers who should fit in with them, rather than them adapting to suit volunteers' needs."

Ryall predicts the new volunteering projects and organisations will be in place from January. The charity will then begin developing volunteering passports to record volunteers' experiences.

"Employers have told us they don't look at volunteering experience, yet they are looking for skills that can't be acquired through academic training," she said. "These skills, such as leadership and commitment, are exactly the sort of things volunteering can provide, so the passports will record that. In time, we hope to enlist employers to act as ambassadors and promote the idea."



  • Grants totalling £70m are to be given out over the next three years
  • Money will be allocated according to the size of the area and the number of young people living there
  • Organisations have until 10 August to apply to v for funding
  • V says the 'v teams' will be in place by January
  • Volunteers' experiences will be recorded in 'volunteer passports'

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