Spotlight on Hot Chocolate Trust
Spotlight on Hot Chocolate Trust
What target groups do you help?
Young people aged 12-21.
And how do the volunteers help?
Volunteers are a vital part of the team at Hot Chocolate Trust. Volunteer youth workers are part of our weekly open sessions, where they work as part of the team with a focus on building relationships with the young people who come through the doors, and supporting their holistic development. Volunteers can also be involved in a variety of group work, trips, projects and individual support alongside open sessions.
What volunteer roles do you have, and do you have any areas you wish to get more volunteer involvement?
Volunteer youth worker: Be involved in one of our weekly open sessions.
What skills & experience are required to volunteer with you?
No prior experience is required to volunteer with Hot Chocolate Trust. Key skills required are good listening and team working skills, and an openness to learn and develop youth work practice. All youth work volunteers are first subject to a disclosure through the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. Our Recruiting People with Convictions Policy is available on request.
What training can the volunteer expect?
Volunteer youth workers will undertake a four week induction, covering youth work practice, Hot Chocolate’s vision and values, safeguarding/child protection, and organisational policies & procedures. They will meet with the volunteer coordinator every 6-8 weeks for reflective support and supervision. Volunteer youth workers will also be invited to be part of training offered to the youth work team.
Volunteers statement or story – Meghan
I started volunteering at Hot Chocolate after having a friend who is a youth worker and hearing about the work they do and how impactful it is for young people in Dundee – I wanted to be involved. I knew Hot Chocolate has a positive impact on young people, it gives young people a feeling of worth, and a space which is safe for young people to be. It doesn’t see young people as “troubled teens”, it views young people in a positive light. It gives young people adulting skills too that they don’t get taught at school. Hot Chocolate go that extra step for each individual, not just seeing young people as a collective. If I knew Hot Chocolate was a thing when I was at school, I’d have been here!
It was intense at first, but I felt like part of the team really quickly. I have really connected with young people like I didn’t really expect too. I’ve got understanding of what’s going on for them personally, but also young people in general. I obviously love volunteering here. It’s not just about young people’s struggles, it’s their interests too, like music and art. Different team bring different things from their life which can have an impact on young people, it’s very wholesome.
Volunteering here, I’ve gained patience, and a much better understanding of my own compassionate side. My own social skills when it comes to working with young people, even when things are challenging, have increased too.
I would tell someone who was thinking about volunteering to go for it, don’t have any reservations, jump in and visit – I don’t think anyone would ever regret it.
A story or statement told by someone who benefits from your organisation and the involvement of Volunteers.
The quotes below are from young people past and present:
The HC team are unbelievably supportive. No matter what the problem or situation they will always provide a helping hand. They’ve helped me learn loads of life skills: from writing CV’s to studying skills, learning about money and budgeting, all the way to finding diplomatic solutions to volatile situations. For me, this caring support and gentle encouragement is amazing.
You always feel welcome here. You’re always feel free to put your voice across, you feel comfortable here. The team doesn’t work against us, or even for us – we work together. It’s our place. It’s the one place I’ve never felt out of place.
They’re helpful, outrageous, courageous. You can have good laughs with them. They listen.
It’s different here because of how the team handles things. You guys are very involved. Because you know us personally, you just know if something’s up. Sometimes all someone needs is to be noticed. You’ll ask us if we want to talk, but never force it – it’s always our choice. Team are always there if we need you, and you always have a smile on your face.