One of JVN’s primary aims over the next few months is to expand the work it does to encourage young people to become involved in volunteering. Aside from its regular work with schools, synagogues and youth groups, including the Yoni Jesner Award Scheme (to be relaunched in the coming weeks), and the new activities to be run with universities and Vscheme (beginning next week), JVN was asked to collaborrate on a unique programme with JCoSS and its brand new Sixth Form. Sixth Form students are to undertake, as part of their curriculum, an afternoon of volunteering every other week within the local community. In order to launch the scheme, JVN Director Leonie and Youth Co-ordinator Mike were invited to speak to the students on 10th October about their forthcoming volunteering.
Nearly 50 students were present, in addition to Informal Jewish Education staff Victoria Rose and Ben Abrams, and there was also a visit from Laurence Rosenberg, Head of Kvutzvah. Leonie and Mike ran a workshop on a variety of topics, and the students managed to reach a definition of volunteering, to understand the makeup of the volunteering community in the UK and the Jewish community, to appreciate the benefits of volunteering and to understand the Jewish values underlying the concept.
The students are now prepared for a volunteering fair, organised by JCoSS, JVN and JLGB, to be held on 12th October, where students will be able to select a long-term volunteering opportunity for the duration of the academic year from a wide variety of Jewish and non-Jewish charities. It is anticipated that this programme, so far unique within the community, will encourage the Sixth Formers to take on their responsibilities as adult citizens of British and Jewish society, and to take this attitude with them into the wider world or further study after their A Levels.