March 2013 marks the end of an era for FURD, with over 13 years of funded youth volunteering programmes drawing to a close.
Through the government-funded Millennium Volunteers scheme from 1999-2008 and its successor, vInspired, from 2009-2011, FURD has supported well over a thousand 16-25-year-olds to help themselves and their communities, as well as enhancing FURD’s work in countless ways.
Since 2011, FURD, through the V24/24 programme introduced by vInspired, has supported 3 cohorts of 5 ‘NEET’ (not in employment, education or training) 16-19-year-olds to complete 24 hour-a-week work placements with FURD for 24 weeks. The participants have been supported throughout by paid Volunteer Co-ordinator Sajaad Rauf (Sooj), who is a former volunteer with FURD himself.
The last group of V24/24s have been involved in a wide variety of activities, including planning the Vibes & Unity festival, helping at youth club sessions, helping with the smooth running of FURD’s film festival, and clearing snow from the football pitches at the U-Mix Centre! Additionally, their placement included one day a week working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Employability and Professional Development .
V24/7 would be a more appropriate title for Tom Hunaishi and Farhaan Gulfraz, who have often been at FURD from morning till night, working well over their 24x24 hours. They are now taking the Level 2 Youth Work training course currently being run by FURD and, as they refuse to leave, have been invited to join FURD’s Board of Trustees as Youth Trustees!
Farhaan said, "It's been an honour to work with FURD, everyone's been so welcoming and friendly. It feels like a second family - a home away from home. I've learnt how much FURD cares about the community and how much work it does with people from different backgrounds. I hope I can stay involved with FURD in the future".
FURD remains committed to supporting young people’s development through volunteering and sees this as central to its work and ethos. It hopes to attract funding in future to enable it to give volunteers the time, support and expenses they deserve, but in the meantime it will do its best to continue helping volunteers to help FURD and the wider community.