The Millennium Volunteer programme celebrated its 15th birthday in 2015 and we are delighted that the Youth Council for Northern Ireland fund the programme with the support of the Department of Education.
The Millennium Volunteers programme is built on 9 key principles that make the programme distinctive and they are:
· Sustained personal commitment
· Community benefit
· Voluntary Participation
· Ownership by young people
The programme is available for those aged 11 to 25 years. To record hours young people must be 14 before they can join the programme however once they reach their 25th birthday they are deemed to be ‘too old’ to receive recognition under the MV programme. The same principles of good practice in volunteer management still apply and we seek to ensure that young people receive a good quality volunteering experience through volunteering with our partner organisations.
Millennium Volunteers is built on good practice in volunteer management where young people have a positive and rewarding volunteering experience which will sustain their enthusiasm, understanding and commitment throughout their lifetime. The programme is flexible to meet the needs of organisations so it is up to them how they record the details of young people who wish to be recognised.
All young people receive a record book, which gives them the opportunity to record their volunteering journey, ensuring that their organisation is aware of the entirety of their volunteering commitment and the hours they have given. Whilst there is a lot of space within the book it is not verified by Volunteer Now and does not belong to the organisation so it is up the young person how they complete it. We recommend that they fill it in as much as possible as it is a useful tool when preparing for interviews and developing their CV. An online record book is also available for organisations to use. It is important that young people, who are volunteering elsewhere, complete the review section and have it signed by the organisation so that their partner is assured that they have completed the stated number of hours.
Types of awards:
MV Pioneer: The Pioneer Award recognises young volunteers aged between 11 and 13 years for the volunteering they undertake. No hours are counted towards this certificate.
MV Challenge: If a young person takes part in a one off volunteering opportunity then this certificate recognises their involvement and hopefully encourages them to become more involved.
MV 10: solely for young people (14-25 years) who face difficulties and personal challenges in becoming involved in regular activity. This Award gives young people the opportunity to gain recognition for their limited involvement and has a special record sheet.
MV Schools: This Award gives the School the opportunity to recognise the commitment that young people give within the School structure. The Award is equivalent to the 50 hour Award but young people reach between 35 and 50 hours of volunteering.
MV50: This Award recognises the young person’s commitment for their first 50 hours of volunteering. They must be aged between 14 and 25 years. The young person receives a bronze pin with this Award.
MV100: The young person starts at 51 and gains recognition when they reach 100 hours of commitment. The young person receives a silver pin with this Award.
MV200: This is the Award of Excellence and recognises young people for 200 hours of commitment. This is the highest accolade they can receive for their hourly commitment.
MV Ultimate: Organisations can nominate young people for this Award and is there to recognise young people who have already gained their 200 Hour Award and who can demonstrate that they are outstanding in some way meriting this achievement.
There are three strands to the Millennium Volunteers Family:
Pure: for all community/voluntary sector organisations as well as public bodies
GoldMark: for governing bodies of sport
Schools: recognising volunteering within School
Young people can gain their total hours across all three areas.