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It’s Volunteers Week 2023! From 1st June to 7th June R4W is joining in the national celebration to reward and recognise those who give up their time to make a difference. 

Today, the 6th June, is also Power of Youth Day, an annual opportunity to say thank you to all the young people working to make a positive change in their communities every day.

It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with a group of very engaged young people, the Cardiff Police Youth Volunteers (PYVs) who are regular R4W volunteers. They are usually found at a water station rehydrating and cheering on the runners. We asked them to tell us more about police youth volunteering . The scheme is open to 14 to 17 year olds and is not about recruiting police officers but is aimed at developing a sense of good citizenship in young people and providing them with a chance to participate positively in their local communities.

Jack and Ellie told us more about what the PYVs actually do. Ellie says “we do volunteer work and attend different types of events as well as assisting PCSOs and Police Officers in raising awareness in what they do”.  Jack added “it allows the community to interact with the police in a more positive environment, allowing more visibility over time and over a variety of ages. Police Youth Volunteers attend weekly sessions gaining information about policing and legislation, as well as attending events in the local area such as R4W events or emergency services open days.”

“The thing I like most about being a Police Youth Volunteer is helping others and setting a good example within the community and engaging with them” Abbie

When we asked the group of young volunteers why they decided to join up, they all mentioned similar themes. Abbie told us she joined to help the community and others around her, as well as to find out what opportunities and job roles exist within the police force. Mia said it was to learn new skills and engage with the community and to gain an insight to how policing works.

The Cardiff Police Youth Volunteers are regular volunteers at the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon on the Roath Lake Water Station, as well as at the halfway point on the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K route. They’ll also be supporting runners for the first time at ABP Barry Island 10K 2023 and CDF10K 2023.

PCSO Amy Hughes told us that “Volunteering teaches young people important life skills that aren’t always easy to teach in school. They learn hard work ethic and gain confidence to engage with people from all walks of life and to give back to the wider community.”

But do the PYVs enjoy volunteering at R4W events? It sounds like they definitely do!

“I love volunteering at R4W because I love lifting people’s spirits to help them motivate themselves to finish the race and enjoy their time”. Ami

“Volunteering with Run for Wales is an amazing experience. You see that the race isn’t all about winning but taking part. You can also see that by cheering people on and encouraging to keep going has a huge impact on them”. Abbie

“The R4W event is an amazing experience – we help the people who are running have the best time possible! We help them through their run and we support those who are at the end and walk with them”. Ellie

“It’s a very fun time, you can come together with other groups and work on some easy jobs like bottle clean ups but it’s more interesting having your friends doing it with you”. Isabel

The Cardiff group are not the only Police Youth Volunteers to support R4W events. At the recent ABP Newport Wales Marathon and 10K, the Gwent and Monmouthshire team looked after Magor Water Station and Stephenson Street Water Station. PCSO Alex Donne told us they all had a great time and that “it is vital for our young people to experience many different roles, environments and experiences with the Police Youth Volunteers. We feel that assisting with R4W events allows our young people to engage in communities and offer support to some amazing events throughout Gwent“.

We are also looking forward to welcoming the Bridgend Police Youth Volunteers back to the Hi-Tide Inn, where they will be hosting the midway Water Station for the Ogi Porthcawl 10K on 2nd July.  

R4W welcomes all community groups to get involved at our events. If you would like to know more about volunteering at a R4W event, visit our volunteering webpage or email our Volunteer Coordinator Tor.

To find out more about the Police Youth Volunteer scheme, visit the South Wales Police website or the Gwent Police website.

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