Volunteers wanted to support young people across Northern Ireland

Date published: 30 October 2017

The Youth Justice Agency is seeking to recruit new volunteers across Northern Ireland.

Volunteers play a valuable role working alongside staff in supporting children aged 10-17 who come into contact with the justice system. They assist with community service, provide one-to-one support and help facilitate reparative activities within local communities which enable young people to make amends for the harm caused by their offending behaviour.

Youth Justice Agency Chief Executive, Declan McGeown, said: “The Youth Justice Agency is focused on helping steer young people away from the criminal justice system. Working closely with staff, our volunteers – who are drawn from a range of backgrounds, disciplines, ages and interests - help contribute towards this goal.

“Volunteering is a very rewarding experience and I would encourage anyone who has an interest in young people and the justice system to get involved.”

Joint winner of the Youth Justice Agency ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award, Kevin Thompson, said: “I always enjoyed working with young people but felt I could do more to divert children away from the behaviours which lead them into conflict with the law.

“Working as a volunteer with the Youth Justice Agency has also helped me personally, grow in confidence, learn new skills and undertake youth work studies. It is really rewarding work. You don’t make an impact in every young person’s life but you do help some, which makes it all worthwhile.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the Youth Justice Agency, contact 028 6632 0560 or e-mail info@yjani.gov.uk

Check out the video at https://youtu.be/6aTm-t2e3kc

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Youth Justice Agency aims to make communities safer by helping children to stop offending. The Agency works with children aged 10-17 years who have offended or are at serious risk of offending and provides a range of services, often delivered in partnership with others, to help children to address their offending behaviour, divert them from crime, assist their integration into the community and to meet the needs of victims of crime.
  2. Youth Justice Agency offices are located in Belfast, Newtownards, Ballymena, Banbridge, Londonderry, Enniskillen and Dungannon.
  3. Applications to become a Volunteer with the Youth Justice Agency are opened to persons aged 18 or over, who can commit to 2 to 3 hours per week and are willing to work unsocial hours and weekends if necessary.
  4. All prospective volunteers will go through an interview, induction and training process before being formally registered as a Youth Justice Agency Volunteer.
  5. Volunteers commit for a minimum period of one year and are required to undertake an extensive training programme which covers issues relevant to the youth justice context, adolescent development, challenges facing parents and a range of adolescent behaviour issues.
  6. Learn about the experiences of volunteer Joanne McCanney, by viewing the short video at https://youtu.be/-HJDSUFiRFU
  7. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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