Over the past three years, I have been fortunate to volunteer for the Glass Door Project, a homeless charity in London. Through the work which I have done and the relationships I have built with fellow volunteers and guests, I have benefitted enormously and have enjoyed myself greatly.
The majority of young people I have spoken with seemingly struggled with making the first step in obtaining volunteer positions, whether it be researching, contacting or applying. This current process is too disparate and intimidating. Worse still, if successful, a number of students get turned away when the company find out they are minors. Knowing how much volunteering has benefitted both those around me in my community and helped me to develop my own character, I would like my peers to have a similar experience.
It is for this reason that I am keen to simplify the current journey students must navigate in order to acquire volunteer positions. For this reason, I am developing a website called VolunTEEN which students aged 16-19 can use to research and apply to volunteer positions in their local communities in London. My end goal is to increase my generation’s positive impact on our local communities through a grassroots method of charitable acts.
I am currently in the latter stages of programming with my team and it will be launching within the month. I was awarded the Thomas Clarkson award which was a £1000 pound grant from my school for this venture, and I have been travelling between schools, charities, and foundations such as City Harvest, Cancer UK and the Octavia Foundation to create partnerships and raise awareness of this initiative.