Volunteers’ Week 2021!

IARS is lucky to have a committed and dedicated team of volunteers supporting and driving our work forward. We would like to take this week to thank all our volunteers for giving up their time to help others and for their invaluable contributions to our community. 

Throughout this week we will share case studies of our current volunteers, promote volunteering opportunities in order to celebrate the invaluable efforts of our volunteers! 

 

Thank you to all our volunteers!

On the Friday of Volunteers’ Week we wanted to celebrate all our volunteers, both past and present, at IARS. We asked some of the members of our team to tell us what they think that volunteers bring to IARS as an organisation:

“Our volunteers bring diversity and a range of qualities, skills and expertise to IARS. They are the driving force that keeps us moving forward. Our volunteers inspire and energise me to do and be more every day. Thank you!” 

Maija, User Engagement Lead

“Our volunteers are the real motor of this organization, they bring new perspectives to our projects and our organization as a whole. Our team of volunteers help us become better every day by challenging us to grow and to come up with new, innovative ways to approach societal issues. Volunteers allow us to create real and meaningful changes in the community.  As a youth-led organization, I am also happy we are able to provide a channel for young people to speak up about their challenges and to be a voice for the community.”

Desirée, Programme Manager

“Volunteers bring so much to our team – I love the diverse perspectives and the way that people bring their different life experiences to their work as it makes everything so much richer. Our volunteers also bring amazing passion and commitment and we are so grateful to each one of them!”

Claire, Chief Executive

It also seemed right to hear from some of our volunteers themselves on what they thought they had gained from volunteering at IARS:

“I will always treasure my time at IARS and have already begun to build on the things I learned there in my professional and academic endeavours.”

Advisory Board member

“I believe that all causes IARS stand for and support are crucial in building a better society, and most importantly empowering us as teenagers, and generations to come.”

Work Experience student

“I firstly wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to do work experience with IARS, I feel like it has really given me a much better insight into social enterprise and charities, and I feel much more educated coming out of this.”

Work Experience student

Last but not least, we should remember our trustees, who are volunteers too, and who do amazing work in guiding us as an organisation. 

We are currently recruiting new volunteers to join our Advisory Boards. If you are interested in the problems facing young people today, this is a great opportunity to gain experience in an advisory role at an international charity. If you are interested to learn more about volunteering, please contact Sophia Sogaard, User Engagement Coordinator, at s.sogaard@iars.org.uk

 

Meet Lauren!

Lauren joined us in May 2021 from the US as a virtual intern. She is a third-year student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, where she majors in Political Science and Public Policy.

She is passionate about creating and pushing for policies that ensure an inclusive and fair society for all. She joined us as an intern at IARS hoping to expand her knowledge about government systems, policy work and campaigning. In the short time she has been working with us, Lauren has done great work on our Tutors United project, helping to conduct a thematic analysis for IARS’ evaluation of the project. Her patience and dedication have been evident, even when she is working on transcribing and analysing lots of long interviews! Additionally, she is working on compiling a response to the UK Government policy consultation focusing on the development of the Women’s Health Strategy. 

Lauren is incredibly organised and motivated and always gets her tasks done ahead of schedule. We want to highlight her amazing work ethic, which is reflected in everything she has already done with us. We look forward to working with her over the next few weeks and hope to see her in London one day!

Thank you Lauren!

 

Meet IARS’ Advisory Boards!

As a user-led Institute, IARS is evaluated by our two Advisory Boards – the Youth Advisory Board and the Women’s Advisory Boards – which consist of members from different backgrounds and circumstances who are aware of the problems facing young people in today’s society and who are interested in an opportunity to do something positive about these issues. They use their own experience to address the issues that are important to them and help us to ensure that young people’s voices get heard. Today, on Power of Youth Day, IARS want to recognise the contribution and resilience of the Advisory Boards over the last year!

IARS was set up in 2001 by young volunteers from across Europe. It was the first EU-wide, youth-led network focused on equality and aiming to empower young people to influence policy and practise. Our Advisory Boards play a crucial role in this. Their role is to constantly review, monitor and quality control our work in order to ensure that it is user–led and relevant to the needs of young people. This involves evaluating the projects that IARS produce, carrying out research and policy consultations and updating IARS’ policies. Advisory Board members also contribute to IARS’ publications, including the 99% magazine.

Over the last year, the Advisory Boards have helped to evaluate projects on child protection and gender inequality, amongst other social issues. Even during Covid-19, they have remained dedicated and worked hard to produce high-quality work. They have responded so well to the challenges of working online and are an enormously positive force at our organisation

We are immensely grateful for all the effort the members of the Advisory Boards put into this voluntary role; without them we would not be able to do the work we do!

 

Meet Hannah! 

Hannah joined us in September 2020 as part of her final year at the University of Greenwich. Originally from Leicester, she is a 21 year old soon to be sociology graduate. Congratulations on submitting your dissertation! 

As a project and communications intern, Hannah has been working on a number of projects such as EDEEY, Children First, PROCHILD, Queer Migrants and has raised our profile on social media through creative campaigns and promotions. After the first few weeks, Hannah was already writing an article for the 99% Campaign Magazine on Social Enterprises. She also helped us with organising a multidisciplinary learning seminar on violence against children and young people, which brought together professionals from different sectors to discuss best practices in child protection. As part of her dissertation, she conducted research on the experiences of LGBTQI+ migrants on social inclusion and integration in the UK, and this research will lay the foundation for the Queer Migrants project. Last but not least, she made herself indispensable with all her hard work on the PROCHILD project. 

We want to highlight her sense of responsibility, compassion and open mindedness and perseverance of working from home. Hannah has many traits that make her an outstanding volunteer. She has a bottomless amount of patience and tenacity, and she never stops persisting even when things move slowly or she is working on more mundane, but necessary, tasks. Since her first day she has taken initiative and had a proactive attitude, and always seems to be one step ahead of the work that needs doing! She has an outstanding work ethic and values that align with IARS’ and everything she does is fuelled by this drive to create an impact.

Thank you Hannah!