Giving Back - Social Action in Waltham Forest
What have Mother Teresa, Mohammed Ali, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and Einstein got in common? Any ideas? They all believed in the importance of altruism - that it was better to give than to receive.
At the heart of Worth Unlimited is a vision of a world as it should be - a world characterised by harmony, community, well-being, wholeness and prosperity. That's why one of our key activities is growing and investing in change makers: helping young people to grow up feeling that life is hopeful; dreams can be achieved and that they belong in something bigger than themselves, so that they will be able and motivated to pursue social change.
Part of this process is creating opportunities for young people to 'give back' - to utilise their passions and abilities for the benefit of others. This is why, in April 2018, Worth Unlimited in Waltham Forest started running the Community Ambassadors Project with seven young people, aged 11- 17, from the Priory Court estate. This group works together to engage in local social action and take up opportunities to contribute to their community.
The Community Ambassadors were invited to be part of the Priory Court Community Christmas Fun Day. In the lead up to the event, they planned together to run two stalls that would both help the community to get feeling festive - in very different ways!
The day before, the young people baked cakes, but rather than selling them, they ran a 'season of giving' cake stall. During the event they gave the cakes away for free and going to those who weren’t so mobile so they could try one.
The other stall that they organised was a fun activity (currently very popular in Waltham Forest), especially for younger attenders at the event - slime making!
During the event, the young people did amazingly well as they ran their stalls. The cake stall took some diplomatic management, to make sure that everyone got the chance of a free cake! The slime table was the most popular of the Fun Day, with kids surrounding the tables for the whole event. The young people were kept busy teaching and helping the younger ones to make slime and they really enjoyed showing them how to do it. One girl who came had made it before and was good at it, so they encouraged her to help them showing others how to make it.
Here's what people had to say:
“I have really enjoyed doing this and helping the younger ones especially”
Ismay (member of the Community Ambassadors group)
“The young people have done so well to put this together and I think your tables have been the busiest here!”
Member of the community
“I believe the young people involved have all taken something out of this project, whether they have been a part of the whole process or just some of it. They have learnt a variety of skills and have been pushed in areas that our other projects just wouldn’t get them to do”.
Have our young people inspired you? If you've got a little free time in your week and want to experience the joy of giving back for yourself, maybe you'd be interested in joining the Waltham Forest team?
We currently have a range of opportunities to suit different skills, interests and availability:
- Youth Work volunteers - Join our Youth Bus team, running activities and building relationships with young people
- Volunteer Coordinator - Organise the rota of youth workers, managing holidays etc. to make sure that each session has the team we need
- Administration - Support us in the Walthamstow office, or give some time from home, to help us with some of the background tasks and organisation
To find out more about any of these opportunities or arrange a visit, please contact Helen Perry by calling 020 8090 5045 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Community Ambassadors Programme is generously funded by Clarion Housing. We are grateful for their support.