Derbyshire children’s volunteer scheme goes countywide

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A SUCCESSFUL pilot scheme to help train volunteers to work with children and young people has been rolled out across Derbyshire.

The Derbyshire Volunteer Passport Scheme was developed by Derbyshire County Council – in partnership with the voluntary, community and independent sector – to give volunteers the skills needed to work with youngsters.

Volunteers are offered five three-hour training sessions covering topics including first aid, health and safety, keeping children safe, equal opportunities, and consulting with young people.

Successful candidates receive a badge and accreditation recognised by Derbyshire Children’s Trust – which includes the county council, health services, Derbyshire police, and the voluntary and community sector.

First launched as a pilot project in 2009, the scheme has helped train 200 volunteers. Of those: 58 have gone into further specialist training; 35 volunteers have set up their own clubs; 24 have gone on to employment; 13 are now training for NVQs; 14 young people aged 16 to 18 have completed the scheme.

Now it has been extended it will give 500 more volunteers countywide the chance to benefit.

Cllr Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet’s Member for Young People, said: “We are proud to work alongside excellent volunteers throughout the county as they help us support children and families.

“Our volunteer partners help us provide vital support which is why we wanted to support and recognise the contribution they make.

“Skills learned through the passport scheme will help them in their volunteer work and boost their career opportunities if they decide they want to work with children as a profession.”