Young Advisors are experienced volunteers who are actively involved with a community organisation in the StreetGames network. For StreetGames Summer Camp 2022, a team of 14 Young Advisors worked with StreetGames staff to take a lead on all aspects of the camp, from initial planning right through to the delivery of the event itself.
Saif is 18 and from Huddersfield. He began volunteering 2 years ago at Onside Youth Zones in Wigan, Bolton and Oldham. His volunteering journey began when he moved to the UK. He saw Wigan Youth Zone and decided to go in and have a look: “I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go back and spend more time there so I asked if I could volunteer.”
Since then, Saif has become a young leader for young people aged 7-11 across a range of activities including sports, music and arts. His favourite activities to lead are volleyball and dance because lots of young people enjoy taking part and dance provides them with an opportunity to express themselves differently. Saif is now an ambassador for Onside, working alongside other like-minded young people to fundraise for the charity and pitch for new projects. He particularly values the mental health benefits of volunteering: “I think it’s something you have to do in life to make you feel better about yourself and give back to your community. The moment I volunteer and make someone happy it gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happier.”
Saif was keen to become a Young Advisor at Summer Camp to work on a residential setting and work with young people of a similar age to him. At Summer Camp, he was always on hand to talk to young people and get everybody “energised and riled up for the day of activities”. The experience of working with young people from across the country was a valuable personal development opportunity: “When you’re working with lots of different people you have to learn how to get them engaged and excited in what you’re doing. I’ll take that back with me and use it everywhere!”
Going forward, Saif’s biggest dream for the future is to make his mum as proud as he can: “I’m going to work hard to get a job she can be proud of and build a life she can be proud of.”