Volunteering for 25 and Under

Thinking about becoming a volunteer? Don't know where or how to start? Are you an existing volunteer who would like to find out more?

Here you will find a comprehensive guide to volunteering and also how you would go about becoming a volunteer in your local community. At VASA we aim to show you how you can become involved in volunteering and help others.

This is a vital resource for someone considering volunteering for the first time and doesn’t know where to start. It is also a useful source of information for more experienced volunteers and contains answers to many common questions.

Volunteering can be a great experience and we can highly recommend the benefits of becoming involved. Volunteering can lead to lifelong friendships, enhanced employment opportunities, as well as the opportunity to help some great individuals and organisations.

Many of our friendly and informative team are volunteers and have been trained to assist you in finding the perfect volunteering opportunity. Volunteering can be a great experience and we would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to become involved.

If you are Ready to Volunteer click for details on VASA volunteer registration.

  • What Is volunteering?

    "Volunteering is the giving of time and energy through a third party, which can bring measurable benefits to the volunteer, individual beneficiaries, groups and organisations, communities, the environment and society at large. It is a choice undertaken of one's free will, and is not motivated primarily for financial gain or for a wage or salary"
    Scottish Executive (2004)

    Volunteering is often described as the giving of your time and experience, without expectation of reward. However, the reality is very different.

    The personal benefits and developmental opportunities gained through volunteering cannot be emphasised enough. Recent statistics estimated that as many as 30% of the adult population in Scotland give their time at some point in the year to formal volunteering, and many more give help to others informally. It is part of our culture and makes a huge contribution to the economy in Scotland.

    Volunteers in South Ayrshire provide a wide and diverse range of services in the local community. These include: advice giving; befriending; driving; administration; fundraising; literacy and IT; conservation and gardening; fundraising; counselling; group support and much more.

    Opportunities for volunteering exist within local and national organisations with a local focus, and they register their vacancies through VASA. All current volunteering opportunities can be viewed by visiting our opportunities section or by visiting Volunteer Scotland.

  • Who can volunteer?

    Any young person can volunteer. You don’t need special skills or experience, just a willingness to give your best during your volunteering experience.

  • How can I get started?

    You can volunteer on your own or with a group of friends. You could find out if you like it by taking part in a volunteering challenge with your school, college, university, church, youth or sports club. Or you could make a more regular commitment by volunteering with an organisation or group in your community. There are lots of interesting things you can become involved in. To find out what’s on offer in your home area contact the VASA volunteering team on 01292 263626 or e-mail us at volunteering@voluntaryactionsouthayrshire.org.uk

  • What can I get from volunteering?

    There are obvious things like improving your confidence, learning new skills, making new friends and having fun. Volunteering can also help you with your career or job goals; it’s a great thing to put on your college, university or job applications.

    Did you know that you can also get awards and rewards for volunteering if you are 12-25? Find out more about the how easy it is to get a Saltire Award for volunteering even for one day!

How Saltire Works

Once you have registered for any of the Saltire Award categories and started your volunteering, you will need to keep track of all the hours you do. You can do this by recording your hours online via the My Saltire tab on the Saltire Awards website: www.saltireawards.org.uk or by keeping record of your hours on a timesheet which your volunteering co-ordinator, project worker, school, college, etc will provide.

When you have completed your Saltire Challenge or reach the volunteering milestones of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 hours, you can claim your certificate via My Saltire or send your timesheets directly to VASA at 27 – 29 Crown Street, Ayr, KA8 8AG. You will then receive your awards by post or at an award ceremony.

To find out more about Saltire Awards please contact a member of the VASA Volunteering Team on 01292 263626 alternatively e-mail us at saltire@voluntaryactionsouthayrshire.org.uk

The Saltire Awards are supported by Voluntary Action Scotland, the Scottish Government and Young Scot. The awards are administered in South Ayrshire by VASA.

There are four awards categories which are:

  • Challenge - One off team based volunteering opportunities, which are usually completed in a day
  • Approach - More regular volunteering achieved in manageable chunks (10-25 hours commitment)
  • Ascent - Volunteering on a regular basis with an organisation or group (50-500 hours commitment)
  • Summit - Outstanding achievement award which is assessed by peers for volunteers who have exceeded their expectations and have completed more than 200 hours of volunteering

Getting Started

Saltire Awards

Saltire Challenge - A Great Way to Start

Volunteer in a one-off team event to get a taste of volunteering and make a real difference to your community. Create a team with a group of your friends or classmates or join a team already organised in your local area. It's a good chance to build your team-working skills and have a really fun time.

Saltire Challenges are set up by voluntary organisations, schools and youth development workers. A challenge normally consists of a day of volunteering, taking part in activities such as beach clean ups, gardening projects, regeneration projects and loads more. After completing a Saltire Challenge you will be issued with a Saltire Challenge certificate. Volunteering hours from a Saltire Challenge can be used towards either the Approach or the Ascent awards.

Saltire Approach

The Approach is designed to introduce you to more regular volunteering in manageable chunks. It gives you the chance to choose where you would like to volunteer and it helps you to find out what type of volunteering you're interested in. Through your placements you can discover what your skills and strengths are. You'll receive a certificate for completing 10 and 25 hours of volunteering as well as Young Scot Reward Points.

Saltire Ascent

Are you ready to make a longer commitment to volunteering? You can further develop your skills and strengths through your placements and record your achievements in a journal. There is space in the journal to enter any training, new skills you've learnt and referees for application forms. You can also set yourself goals in the Pathway section. You'll get your certificate and Young Scot Reward Points for completing 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours of volunteering.

Saltire Summit

The Summit is awarded to young people 12-25 who have made an outstanding achievement in volunteering. Volunteers must be nominated by a school, college, university, youth project or organisation. A Summit Panel, which includes other young volunteers, judges the nomination and agrees on the award.

Further Help

If you would like to find out more information about volunteering in general please access VASA’s Volunteering Guide which is accessible on this website. Should you wish to speak to someone in person about opportunities in your community please contact a member of the VASA Volunteering Team on 01292 263626 or drop us and e-mail at: volunteering@voluntaryactionsouthayrshire.org.uk and we will be happy to help.

  • Are you 12-25?
  • Are you 25+?
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Volunteering Awards