In the fourth of our popular series of blogs, we explore some of the more unusual programmes that are on the SCQF. Read on to find out more about the Police Scotland Youth Volunteering Award from Jan Holburn, Training Quality Assurance Coordinator at Scottish Police College - Tulliallan.
The overall aim of the Police Scotland Youth Volunteering Award is about developing Youth Volunteers to improve life skills, build confidence, and develop individual strengths while accessing real-life opportunities to work in supportive roles alongside Police Scotland Officers and their communities. The award sits at SCQF Level 4 with 20 credit points.
The Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) are groups of up to 24 young people based across Scotland. Supported by adult volunteers and led by a police constable, the PSYV volunteer at community and national events across Scotland.
The programme aims to strengthen the relationship between the police and young people and is open to all Youth Volunteers aged 13 to 17. No prior qualifications or volunteering experience are required to enter this part of the programme.
PSYV promotes a practical way for young people to understand policing by supporting the Police in their local area through volunteering. As part of this, young people are given a chance for their voice to be heard and encouraged to promote good citizenship.
The programme consists of 2 modules:
Module 1: Initial Training Programme - the aim of this module is to ensure learners have basic knowledge of Police Scotland, the role of PSYV and to develop a working knowledge of the skills required in a volunteering role.
Module 2: Initial Volunteer Experience - to prepare learners to plan for a volunteering event and continues to provide face to face training which is relevant to learners when being deployed at events.
Read on for three testimonials from youth volunteers highlighting how they feel the training has benefited them in their life skills.
This is the story of a 15 year old whose family came to Scotland to escape war in Sierra Leone. She now lives in Glasgow and attends her local PSYV.
Our youth volunteer started life in Sierra Leone, and left with her family to escape the Liberian war. She and her family experienced serious trauma and loss during this time and ultimately fled to Scotland. She began to attend school once settled in Scotland and through this heard about PSYV. She had never volunteered before and wanted to be a part of something with young people her own age so applied for PSYV, and was successful at interview.
“PSYV has helped me be less judgemental about people. I used to judge people a lot and I was quite shy. It has helped build my confidence. It’s made me more outgoing with everyone. I didn’t like speaking to adults, especially authority figures. My mum told me that in her country police officers are looked on as being scary people, part of the government and corrupt.”
As a result of her involvement with PSYV, she is now a buddy/mentor in a project called Bridging the Gap, which is a project that supports children that are struggling with the transition from primary to secondary school. This involves her helping them find out information about the school that they are moving to and helping them build on their confidence so that they feel better equipped starting secondary school.
This is the story of a young woman who has gone from being involved in anti-social behaviour locally to working alongside the local police.
Prior to joining PSYV, this youth volunteer had social work involvement, was drinking alcohol regularly and was often coming to the attention of the police due to her anti-social conduct in the local community. Through contact with a local police officer who had at the time been dealing with the youth regarding an incident she had been involved in, they developed a good relationship and discussion was had regarding potential benefits to the youth of considering attending the local PSYV group. She subsequently applied for the group and her application was successful, it has turned her life around.
“Being part of the PSYV has changed my ways. I stopped misbehaving in the community and my behaviour changed. The police never come to my door any more. My attitude changed towards people and how I spoke to my mum was much better. I am a changed person. I go to college now and I’m doing a childcare course. School wasn’t a great experience for me, and the fact that the PSYV is run by the police was a challenge in the past as I didn’t like the police, but now my attitude has totally changed.”
This is the story of a young man who experienced bullying at school. His time at PSYV has led him to pursue a career in social Work.
This youth volunteer heard about PSYV through school and decided to apply to improve his self-confidence, and was delighted to be successful at interview.
“When I started I was really shy. Since I joined PSYV I have gained so much confidence. I have become more responsible. Before I wouldn’t care about how I acted or what I did. Now I give more thought to things. Because of the activities I’ve done through volunteering I am clear about what I want to do…..I want to go in to Social Work. My pals have seen a difference in me. Before I’d just open my mouth and say the first thing that came into my head. Now I think before I speak.”
He is certain that if he hadn’t joined the PSYV he would still be lacking in confidence and says that his involvement has made a difference to his family life; his parents are happy that he has joined and he believes that the work of the PSYV is worthwhile.
If you are interested in becoming a Youth or Adult Volunteer visit the PSYV Recruitment page for more information.
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