Youth offending service recognised for work with volunteers

Picture caption: Jayne Cale Volunteer Community panel member and Louise Porter from the Leeds YOS volunteer team.

Leeds City Council’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) has recently achieved the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, recognising the team’s excellent work with volunteers.

The service has a major focus on preventing and reducing reoffending by young people and the volunteers make a significant contribution to the work that is undertaken across the city.

Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers. The standard aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and helps organisations to acknowledge the enormous contribution that they make. Investing in Volunteers is managed by the UK Volunteering Forum and is delivered by the National Council for Volunteering Organisations (NVCO).

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “Volunteers are an integral part of our youth offending service and carry out some important work with some of the most vulnerable young people in our city.

“It is great to know that the service has been recognised as working well with volunteers and this good practice will have a positive impact on the young people who need their help and support.”

The Leeds youth offending service was assessed against a range of best practice standards and proved to excel in all aspects of working with its volunteers. The dedicated volunteer team take a real pride in their work to recruit, support and offer regular training to the volunteer group and the quality standard underlines the consistency that is being maintained.

Mark Atherton, volunteer team manager with Leeds youth offending service said:“It is fantastic to have the recognition for our work with volunteers and to celebrate what they achieve in supporting children and families. We have statutory targets to meet as part of our core business and volunteers make a significant contribution within this.”

Volunteers with Leeds YOS take on a wide variety of roles including: being appropriate adults supporting young people in a police station setting; community panel members who are working to plan with and support young people and victims with first time court orders; mentors and reparation supervisors who support young people who complete positive tasks within their communities.

Jayne Cale, volunteer panel member said:
“The award gives a chance for others to hear about the standards that the YOS achieve and being interviewed gave a chance for my opinions to be heard. I am proud to be part of the work we do with children and families and to see the difference that can be made”

Investing in Volunteers is unique in that it is the only standard that focuses on volunteers. It is based on four areas of volunteer management; planning for volunteer involvement, recruiting volunteers, selecting and matching volunteers and supporting and retaining volunteers. The standard helps to enhance volunteer management and is the only quality standard that has independent external validation with a UK Quality Assurance Panel. Further information about the standard can be found on www.investinginvolunteers.org.uk.

For further information about Leeds youth offending service please go to leeds.gov.uk.

Note to editors:

The development of Investing in Volunteers has been funded by the GUS Charitable Trust, Home Office and the Department of Health.

For further information about the Investing in Volunteers programme, please contact Michael Scott at NCVO email: michael.scott@ncvo-vol.org.uk


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk