GO! Southampton launches drive to help businesses offer volunteer support for young people

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21 October 2021

A new brochure has been launched aimed at connecting local businesses with young people in need of career-enhancing volunteer support.

GO! Southampton’s initiative will connect members of Southampton’s Business Improvement District (BID) with young people seeking support, mentoring, work experience, and acting as an enterprise advisor or school governor. The drive comes in direct response to a call from BID members who wish to offer volunteer help but find it difficult to know where to start.

GO! Southampton has partnered with a range of organisations to create the opportunities. These include Southampton City Council, EBP South, Solent LEP, Saints Works, Inspiring Governance, Governors for Schools, Southampton Voluntary Services and No Limits. In each case full contact details are provided. City business employees can pick an opportunity that matches their skills and the time they have available.

Shannon, who is one of the young people benefitting from the partnership, said: “I really enjoy Saints Works, the staff have helped me so much, especially job searching.”

Organisers at Saints Works said getting involved with the work they do is the perfect opportunity to increase confidence, motivation and support young people into further opportunities.

It is hoped that the new business volunteers will make a tangible difference to the lives of young people in Southampton and give them the best chance of contributing to the high-skill workforce of tomorrow.

Giles Semper, Executive Director at GO! Southampton said: “If we are to emerge strongly from the pandemic, we will need a real focus on the skills and ‘real-life’ experience of our young people. GO! Southampton’s members can definitely make a contribution by giving even a small amount of time to volunteering. Our leaflet will help them navigate through the maze of opportunities and find something that fits well. And if volunteering becomes embedded in a company’s culture it can be of equal benefit to the employees and to the business itself.”

Rob Kurn, CEO of Southampton Voluntary Services and GO! Southampton BID member said: “There’s been a need to reach out to the business community for a while now with the volunteering opportunities we have available with local charities and non-profits. However, what was missing was a simple solution, or source of information, so businesses could easily identify what was available and mobilise some community action. The leaflet is a perfect first step, and SVS looks forward to working with GO! Southampton and other partners to develop more ways for business to connect with Southampton’s communities.”

Beth Bray, Participation, Transition & Progression Manager at Southampton City Council commented: “We work very closely with the community and organisations like GO! Southampton to connect schools and colleges to work experience placements and mentoring schemes. We’ve seen how beneficial these have been to young people in the past who have truly excelled – and these kinds of opportunities to get valuable hands-on experience can really make a difference.”

A link to the Business Volunteering Leaflet can be found here.

More information on GO! Southampton and BID members can be found here

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