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09.06.05
Connexions gives backing to National Year of the Volunteer

Connexions Cornwall and Devon has been encouraging young people to use the recent National Volunteer Week and The Year of the Volunteer to find out more about how volunteering can help them get a foothold on the career ladder, whilst helping other people at the same time.

The specialist youth careers and advice service for all 13 to 19 year olds hopes the Year of the Volunteer will help to highlight how volunteering can help when it comes to gaining valuable work and life experience.

Jenny Rudge, Chief Executive of Connexions Cornwall and Devon explains: "As well as helping others, volunteering opens up huge opportunities for young people to get involved in jobs, training and activities they might never even have considered trying. It’s also a fantastic way to meet people from all different walks of life, to gain valuable experiences and build personal skills and confidence, whilst also helping the local community. It’s a great plus point when it comes to job seeking too, we know future employers are very impressed by young people who can add volunteering to their CVs."

Connexions work closely with organisations like the Millennium Volunteers, Prince's Trust and local voluntary groups to match up young people interested in volunteering with suitable placements. In Cornwall, they have been working with the Cornwall Centre for Volunteers, which has helped over 100 young people to take up the Young Volunteer Challenge over the last two years.

Tom Whitworth, Connexions Operations Director with responsibility for the Cornwall area, explains: "Industries like sport, art and design, music and the media are particularly hard for young people to get into without proven experience and volunteering can be that first step on the career ladder. Connexions also has evidence that volunteering really benefits young people and helps them build confidence and improve skills.”

One volunteer from the Cornwall Centre for Volunteers says: "The Young Volunteer Challenge is probably the best thing I’ve done in my life. I have just finished my training to become a mentor.”

Proving that volunteering helps your career, one young volunteer took up the opportunity at a local leisure centre and certainly made the most of it, they offered him a job! Another used his experience as a volunteer pool supervisor to get a job as a lifeguard and a young deaf volunteer used her young volunteer challenge experience to gain a place at university.

To find out more about volunteering for young people visit the Connexions web-site at www.connexions-cd.org.uk or call the Truro/Bodmin/Pool Connexions office on 0800 9755111.

For further information please contact press officers Carolyn Daw on 01822 833488 or 07866 697057, or contact Sylvia Burn at Connexions on 01566 777672 or email: sylvia.burn@connexions-cd.org.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Jobcentre Plus through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

Connexions is the Government's specialist careers and advisory service helping all 13-19 year olds to get into learning and work. All young people have access to a Connexions Personal Adviser whether that is through school or college, Connexions information and advice centres or in youth or community groups.

Connexions Cornwall and Devon is the partnership delivering the Connexions Service since April 2001. There are 47 partnerships around the country. Connexions brings together all agencies and voluntary groups to plan a coherent approach to services for young people. The Connexions Service is allocated a grant from the Department for Education and Skills.

For more information visit www.connexions-cd.org.uk the local website or www.connexions.gov.uk the national website.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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