The Youth Volunteer Academy
The Youth Volunteer Academy is a program for young people (aged 14-17) considered “At Risk” or on the edge of crime. The programme has been set up in partnership with the EA and NIAS with the aim of:
- Increasing awareness of Policing and its role in communities
- Encouraging appreciation of NIAS role in communities
- Encouraging young people to analyse their attitude towards Policing
- Educating young people about what constitutes an emergency
- Raising awareness of the repercussions of anti-social behaviour directed at emergency services
- Assisting young people in considering actions of risky behaviours and their consequences
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Educating young people on basic first aid
The programme provides a practical way for young people to understand policing and be supportive to policing in their local area through volunteering and aims to strengthen the relationship between Police and young people, break down barriers and promote positive role models.
It consists of two one hour long sessions run weekly for 12-16 weeks and also includes a two night residential, a study visit day and celebration night at the end of the program. Topics covered include alcohol awareness, “my rights”, first aid and fire safety. The young people are also encouraged to consider citizenship and thoughtfulness for their local community in the form of a social action project, coordinated by the young people themselves to improve an aspect of their local community. The YVA includes a level one OCN, where the young people use the weekly sessions to complete a portfolio leading to a certificate on the role of public services. The NIAS will also deliver a six week First Aid Course providing the young people with an official certificate at the end.
Outcomes of YVAs thus far include:
- Total of 75 young people awarded OCN level 1 and NIAS first aid certificate
- Enhanced professional development of 35 EA youth workers, PSNI officers and NIAS staff
For further information please contact Policing With The Community Branch at zPolicingWithTheCommunity@psni.police.uk