Nineteen year-old University of Warwick student Lucy Dean sits on the Advisory Board for government charity group ‘v’. She has been passionate about volunteering since starting secondary school and has been a member of Talking Newspaper for the Blind, the Musical Theatre Society and also runs a Junior Church group.
v is an independent charity founded from the report provided by the Russell Commission in March of 2005. The charity is aimed specifically at championing youth volunteers. OnePoll conducted a UK survey for v of over 3,000 people aged 16 to 25 and found that 70% feel they are tarred with an unfair, negative perception by society. v’s goal is to counteract this stigma by inspiring a new generation of young volunteers and effect enduring change in the quality, quantity and diversity of youth volunteering.
The Russell Commission said that v should “give young people a strong voice in its decision-making processes and a significant advisory role in its governance”. Thus v20 was born – an advisory board made up of 20 v volunteers aged 16-25 recruited from all over England.
Lucy has recently gained a position on this board and said: The team ethic involved in being a part of v20 appeals to me as a brilliant way to meet new people, tackle new challenges and practise and improve my communication skills. I have had lots of experience volunteering for various people and projects and feel that I can share these with others to encourage them to do the same.
In 2005 Lucy received the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Award for her work in the community. As a result of this she has been asked to volunteer as a teacher for one month at a severely understaffed school in India. In addition to her charity work Lucy is working towards her BA in Film and Television Studies.
Visit v’s website to find out about volunteering opportunities in your area.