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Youth tells volunteering story

Published Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Youth Action Volunteering Enfield (YAVE) is 20 years old. To celebrate members are producing a show telling the YAVE story.

YAVE is an Enfield Council youth support programme which was set up to develop skills and confidence in young people through volunteering.

A team of 20 young volunteers from across the borough have been working with Skewbald Theatre Company to create the show which includes video footage of past volunteers; the founder of YAVE, Brenda Abbott; and today’s young people at their volunteer placements.

This story is told through performances by musicians from ‘Everybody Loves Music’ based at the Alan Pullinger Centre; street dance from the North London Dance Academy; drama pieces from YAVE volunteers and an inspirational song performed in sign language by young volunteers from the YAVE inclusion project for young people with additional needs.

Cllr Bambos Charalambous, Enfield’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Youth and Localism, said, “It is estimated that YAVE has worked with 15,000 young people over 20 years. The range of activities is staggering.

“Many older people and children have benefitted over the years; art projects and magazine work; animal rescue, charity shops, sports coaching, gardening and conservation projects at Chase Farm Hospital have all welcomed keen YAVE volunteers. It is a huge success and I wish them well for another 20 years.”

Several of the volunteers that took part in the 90s now work for YAVE.

YAVE founder, Brenda Abbott, said, “This is an exciting time at YAVE. For many young people it is a route into employment, for others it motivates them to do extraordinary kind acts with people of all ages. It also gives young people the opportunity to learn skills and increase their confidence and self esteem.  I am thrilled that YAVE has gone from strength to strength and that it is in good hands to continue.”

Gemma Watts volunteered for YAVE in 1996 and started managing the project in 2008.

She said, “This is an incredible service that not only fills an important role for young people to learn new skills and interact with other people, but also supports local services with youthful energy and enthusiasm. Its success is built on the goodwill of all concerned – those who offer placements and the volunteers.”

Over 50 young people have joined together from across to organise the show and another 50 young people will be watching it.

YAVE aims to fill over 300 seats to create a fun and memorable celebration for everyone involved, raise the profile of youth volunteering and say a huge thank you to all of our community organisations who offer hundreds of opportunities to young people each year.




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