My Journey with ERVAS and the Volunteen project

East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS) is a local organisation that champion’s and supports the voluntary and community sector in the East Riding of Yorkshire. They are an organisation that can guide and support you through all aspects of making a positive difference to your community. They can help with providing information on how to set up an organisation, develop an existing one, help you access funding and discover new opportunities. For more information about ERVAS you can find out more at www.ervas.org.uk.

The Volunteen project is run by ERVAS.  It aims to help young people  aged 11 – 25 in the East Riding of Yorkshire to increase life skills, by introducing them to new and enjoyable social activities.

Volunteen works with Secondary Schools, as well as a wide mixture of groups from the voluntary, statutory and private sector.  Their aim is to ensure that all young people in East Yorkshire have the chance to benefit from volunteering. The project is designed to increase the confidence, self esteem, skills and knowledge of young people.

2012

In 2012 I started volunteering with ERVAS whilst at school, I was a volunteer peer mentor working at school to help and support the younger students with their transition between primary and secondary school along with providing them support with any issues they may be facing whilst at school.

As part of the Volunteering for Young People in East Riding (VYPER) scheme I was able to achieve my Bronze, Silver & Gold awards for volunteering more than 500 hours.

2013 & 2014

In 2013 / 14 I started to set up my own anti-bullying project Action Against Bullying and Advice for Teachers, these two projects started to form the beginning of the new Devan Group.

I was supported by ERVAS with this as they helped me get in touch with people in the local area along with helping me gain a place on the East Riding Council Anti-Bullying Strategy Group. Being a member of this group helped me to raise awareness of my project whilst being able to have a say in how the council could form anti-bullying strategies and run various events. 

The Advice for Teachers website was created with the help of Fixers UK who are National Lottery funded through the Big Lottery Fun. They later worked with ERVAS to support other young people in the area. During this time ERVAS were supporting me with the expenses of setting up the Devan Group such as helping me towards travel costs and buying various materials that helped me to promote the work that I was doing within schools.

2015

In 2015 ERVAS supported me to become a member of the Anti-Bullying alliance, this helped me to further my network of Anti-Bullying contacts whilst also gaining more information about other anti-bullying organisations across the UK.

During 2015 ERVAS also put me in touch with Talent Match Humber (A project that is National Lottery funded through the Big Lottery Fund aimed at helping those young people that are the furthest away from the labour market).

Through this connection ERVAS supported me to attend various volunteer meetings. From this I managed to gain a seconded internship between Talent Match Humber (Humber Learning Consortium) and the Hull Youth Justice Service (Hull City Council). This happened thanks to ERVAS, they enabled me to build my confidence and work on how I could promote the work that I was doing at the time. This helped me loads when I was asked to meet with the Service Manager for the Hull Youth Justice Service through ERVAS being a strategic partner.

In October this year ERVAS jointly nominated me to receive the Diana Award where I travelled to Barclay’s HQ in London and took part in various life skills activities along with being presented the award.  Towards the end of 2015 I was invited to become an ambassador for the National Lottery. As part of this role I joined many young people in London to celebrate the National Lottery Funding, this started a campaign to show how National Lottery Funding supports so many people.

2016/17

In 2016 my internship ended and I became a full-time staff member with ERVAS (seconded to the Hull Youth Justice Service) this enabled me to further my work with the youth justice service. At the end of the year I later found out that I had been nominated for the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to children’s mental healthcare and wellbeing.

All my work mentioned has been made possible from the continued support that I have received from all of the staff at ERVAS through National Lottery Funding.

Safer Internet Day 2017 – ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet’

Today is Safer Internet Day 2017, the day is coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre. The day is a celebration that sees hundreds of organisations come together and get involved to help promote the safe and positive uses of digital technology for young people.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities; Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. The organisation provides resources for children & young people, Schools and families. You can find out more about safer internet day at: www.saferinternetday.org.uk.

Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe. – UK Safer Internet Centre.

Today is an opportunity for everyone to talk about and highlight the positive uses of technology and to explore the role everyone plays in helping to create a better and safer online community. The day calls upon everyone, young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and everyone else to join together in helping to make and create a better internet.

The Devan Group is pleased to announce that again this year we are one of the Safer Internet Day supporters. If you would like more information about how to stay safe online, or how you can become involved in a positive internet, you can visit the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website.

Alternatively if you are looking for help and support with being bullied online visit the Devan Group website where you will find information about cyberbullying in the anti-bullying pages. www.devangroup.co.uk.

 

 

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Time to Talk Day 2017

Today is Time to Talk Day organised and run by Time to Change:

The aim of Time to Talk Day is to get as many people talking about mental health as possible. At the moment, people with mental health problems are made to almost feel isolated because of their condition. They are made to feel worthless about themselves just because of how other people react.

Time to Talk Day is an opportunity for you to just have a conversation and talk about mental health. This doesn’t need to be difficult and can be as simple as making a cuppa or going for a walk.

I wanted to talk about how bullying can affect your mental health, especially the mental health of young people who are being bullied.

Bullying has so many affects that it is unbelievable, it affects everyone in a different way. Being bullied though can also affect your mental health, it causes both long and shot term problems.

Short term, being bullied can cause a young person to suffer from depression, it can also cause young people to want to self harm or commit suicide. The victim may even feel that they are unwanted or unloved. This can lead to the development of low self esteem, low self confidence or social anxiety.

Long term, bullying is known to cause chronic depression, PTSD and OCD  amongst other mental health conditions. Bullying can also impact on an existing mental health condition and cause the victim’s state of mental health to worsen. As a young person it is hard enough growing up with a mental health condition, so this being made worse because of bullying can make growing up very difficult.

I would like to encourage everyone today to talk to someone about their mental health, just ask them how they are feeling and if you are asked about your own mental health, you do not need to be ashamed to talk about it.

It’s never to late to have a conversation, have one today!