Community Volunteers pass with flying colours

A group of volunteers who spent a year working with local youngsters involved in the criminal justice system have recently qualified with NVQ Level 2 Certificates in Community Volunteering.

The training programme is run by Hackney’s Youth Offending Team (YOT) which works with young people who have offended or been involved in anti-social behaviour.

YOT staff, with support from external assessors, trained the volunteers to become members of Youth Offender Panels – who work with 10-17 year olds who are first time entrants to the criminal justice system with the aim of preventing them re-offending.

The trainees met with individuals and their families to discuss their behaviour, conviction and family life and how to address how they would keep from re-offending for the duration of their court order.

Following the birth of her first child - Samia El-Ouali, of Mare Street, decided to undertake the course, as she wanted a change from her career in retail. She said: “It was really good, informative, challenging and very beneficial. I didn’t know much about this field at all before the course but it really increased my interest in working with young people.”

Samia has since gone on to secure a job as a Youth Advocate – advising young people with court orders about jobs, training and education.