The Young Volunteer Academy was launched earlier this year following financial support from ECB with the aim of creating new young volunteers across the game. The purpose of the YVA was to provide unique opportunities for both experiences and courses. The programme has continued to evolve and offer some once in a lifetime opportunities for the young people. The academy consists of young people between the age of 16 and 25, from across Lancashire with varied interests in the game. We have players, those involved with the social media at their club, those helping with coaching and those with an interest in photography.
Across the 8 months since they started, we have had a number of meetings to support the young people in developing their personal development plans and a number of courses have been shared that they can access including signing to the National Careers Skills Toolkit. We have been able to invite in a skilled photographer to talk to the group about his journey and experiences, including some practical experience taking some photos and getting feedback on them! The group have spent time at events such as the Ashes supporting on the pitch activation, T20 games with the Foundation Activation, Dynamos Day, Hundred Activation, umpiring at schools finals days, supporting the coaches at County Age Group games, creating social media content at the Grassroots awards and photography at County Championship games!
The Young Volunteer Academy 2023/24:
Jen Barden commented ‘We have a fantastic group who have embraced the opportunities! It’s been amazing to see the young people develop their confidence over the last 8 months, many have been out of their comfort zone but have risen to the challenge. They have been able to access some amazing experiences along the way and we hope to continue to develop the programme over the next few months. From the group a number have been offered work since being part of the programme including coaching hours and working in the club shop on match day. We are now planning a equally exciting and interesting winter programme for the group, they will have opportunity to lead the way on what areas they want to explore. We are always looking to learn and develop, continually looking for what is next, so we are pleased to launching the Youth Board very soon so look out for that opportunity.’
A number of the participants have commented on why they joined the programme, the best bits and what they have learnt:
‘I joined the academy with hopes to gain further understanding of the opportunities in a cricket environment, a sport which I love. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to work with and around many age groups at events such as the Ashes and Manchester Day, alongside working with great people. I’ve gained a better understanding of the opportunities within cricket.’
‘I’ve enjoyed every opportunity we have been given, for example the opportunity to assist at Emirates Old Trafford with the match day activation zones at the Hundred, the T20 Blast and the Ashes! I’ve also enjoyed the getting the chance to do photography during a county championship match!’
‘Something I have really enjoyed about the Volunteer Academy is the opportunities to assist at big matchday events such as The Ashes, T20 blast and the Hundred. One reason for joining the academy was to learn and understand the demands of working in a professional sports environment.’
“I have enjoyed the academy especially helping out on the ashes days. It was great to see how the behind the scenes works on big events. I joined the academy to try something new and push myself out of my comfort zone.”
‘The academy has really helped me improve as a cricketer and the experiences have broadened me as a person’
We have two opportunities for young people to get involved with volunteering at the moment, click here to find out more about the Young Officials Academy and Here to register your interest for the second intake of the Young Volunteer Academy in 2024!