Next week marks the start of National Volunteer Week! While the COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult to hold any celebratory events, we want to shine a spotlight on our wonderful volunteers and highlight the amazing difference they make to local children and young people in care.

This year more than ever, vulnerable children and young people have needed a reliable friend and someone they can trust to support them through this difficult time.

Our Independent Visitors build helpful and positive relationships with children and young people who are in care with little or no contact with friends and family. They befriend and, pre COVID-19, would typically visit young people once a month to do fun activities and help to provide support and consistency in their lives.

They are not like parents, social workers, or carers – that is why they are called ‘independent’.  They are ordinary people who volunteer their time because they have a genuine interest in the wellbeing of children and young people. Often, they are the only person in a child’s life who is not paid to be there.

We want to say thank you for the wonderful support they provide young people in care. Their time is the most valuable thing they can offer, and the impact this has on young people is unparalleled. One young person said of their independent volunteer, “She’s the kindest woman in the world.”

One of our independent visitors Penelope Hall, said, “I love being able to be part of a child or young person’s journey, seeing them have fun and smile and laugh; seeing them grow, achieve and gain confidence. I come away from a visit or telephone call feeling I made a positive difference.”

Rita Waters, Group Chief Executive said: “We are so proud of our network of dedicated volunteers who have adapted their support and embraced technology to provide creative contact using virtual communication methods.

“We continue our work with local authorities who currently have children and young people for whom an independent visitor would make a very real and positive difference and they need those volunteers now more than ever.

“We provide all the training required and are looking for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. If you are wanting to give something back after the pandemic, please consider joining our community of volunteers. By simply dedicating some of your time, you can change a young person’s life.”

We will be using Volunteers Week to celebrate our wonderful volunteers across our social media channels. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to see what we get up to!

Facebook: NYAS.YP

Twitter: @NYASServices

Instagram: @nyasservices

LinkedIn: NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service)

If you are over 18 and are interested in finding out more about becoming an independent visitor then please email or visit: for the latest vacancies.