Help transform youngsters’ lives

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Residents in Calderdale are being asked to spare some time to help transform young people’s lives.

Calderdale Council is looking for volunteers to support its work with children and young people in a range of services aimed at giving them the best possible start in life.

Whether it’s helping out at a youth club, befriending a child in care, helping to run play activities or mentoring a young offender, there are lots of ways to get involved and help young people to socialise, learn and develop.

Home-Start Calderdale – a charity that the council commissions to support families with children under the age of five – is also inviting people to volunteer.

One of the volunteers is Joanne Love from Bailiff Bridge, who volunteers in the council’s ‘Independent Visitors’ team.

Independent Visitors befriend young people in care and meet them once a month to help with their personal and social development. This could be something as simple as taking them bowling after school or to the cinema at the weekend.

“I decided I would like to volunteer following a short course in counselling,” she said. “I had also, for many years, helped my friend develop her relationships with her children.

“I really felt I could make a difference to a child’s life through being an Independent Visitor. It’s a great opportunity to help children who are not as fortunate as your own. It can be a really wonderful experience seeing your special person grow into a lovely young adult.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Colin Raistrick, said: “Volunteers have a really valuable role helping the council to support local youngsters and their families.

“Together we can make a real difference to people’s lives in Calderdale, but we need more volunteers to come forward so we can keep providing fantastic services.

“We have lots of volunteering opportunities and encourage people to come to our recruitment event to find out more.”

For more information email or call 01422 288253.