Volunteering with the Youth Adventure Trust – three years, three roles

Alex discovered the Youth Adventure Trust by chance in Volunteer’s Week 2019 and soon after joined us as a Mentoring Volunteer. Since that time, she has generously given her time and supported the charity’s work across all three volunteering roles – Mentoring, Challenge Events and Programme. Here she shares some of her experiences so far.

“Volunteering with the Youth Adventure Trust has been deeply rewarding. Most of my experience has been as a mentor, which I started doing because it felt important to offer support to young people on a one-to-one basis, at what can be a very confusing time. My own teenage was painful and difficult and I would have loved an adult to talk to and help guide me. When I discovered YAT, I knew I had found a way that I could be this adult to others.

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to really impact a young person’s life, and to guide them in a way that is different to family and teachers. Because it runs over a year, we have the time to build a relationship that supports and facilitates real change. I am currently in my second year of mentoring, and with both my mentees I have been impressed by the speed with which we are both able to see a change in their self-confidence, resilience and awareness of certain behaviour patterns. I have also learnt much about my own challenges and shortcomings, as well as my strengths and gifts. It is a real two-way partnership: as well as seeing growth and development in the mentees, I also experience it in myself. 

I have also been fortunate enough to have a little experience volunteering on the programme side, and it has been wonderful to see YAT in action – the way in which the young people are encouraged to push themselves and work together by such brilliant and caring staff, and how this opens doors for their healing and growth.

The other way in which I have supported YAT is as a challenge event volunteer. These weekends are immense fun, with a great sense of camaraderie and support. It feels like a real honour to be supporting people, raise money for this charity, and completely makes up for the ridiculously long days and lack of sleep! Highly recommended.”

At the moment we are particularly keen to hear from anyone living local to Wiltshire who is interested in the Mentoring Volunteer role. If Alex’s volunteering experiences have inspired you, visit our website for more information on how you can get involved and support our work with vulnerable young people.