VOY will close… unless you can step up and take it on?

After six wonderful years of cooperative youth work in Hackney, we are now looking for the right team of youth workers to take Voice of Youth forward.

Why would VOY need to close? We have always had a committed group of co-operative members (some paid as part time sessional workers where funding allows) and volunteers, who run the organisation cooperatively.

Sadly, the current workers and volunteers (apart from one of us) will need to move on over the next few months, for a variety of work-related and personal reasons. We all still love VOY and working together, and we are all sad to leave, but we will need to plan for closure unless we can find a new group. We are keen and happy to hand over to you and help you get started – and then it’s all yours! Please read the VOY new co-op members advert Jan 2018 for full details.

Come to an open meeting to find out more: 6pm Monday 5th March (venue tbc). Contact voyhackney@gmail.com by 19th Feb to let us know you’re coming.

S.O.S. Voice of Youth!!! Volunteers needed for youth work

Be part of something amazing!
No bosses, great mutually supportive team including local young people – experience genuine co-operative working!
We are looking for experienced youth workers who want to support our way of working…
… and for people who want to gain experience in open-access youth work!

Voice of Youth is a special organisation. We do things differently: we work co-operatively, our work is rooted in young people’s needs and wishes, and we avoid funding that involves meeting targets or defining young people as problems. We were set up in 2011 by local young people and youth workers. We are a committed group of volunteers, we have around 30 fantastic young people aged 8-18 taking part each week, and funding for a project using creative activities to get young people talking about social issues. But we need more volunteers to help us stay open!

Interested? You would need to be available all or most Wednesday evenings, 5:30-9:30pm, term-time from Autumn 2017. Our work relies on trusting relationships with young people and within the staff team, so we ask you to commit to 6 to 12 months if at all possible. Have a look at our website to find out more about us: http://www.voice-of-youth.org

Still interested? Send us an email and we’ll have an informal chat and tell you more! Please contact: tania1.voy@gmail.com or any VOY volunteers or youth workers you know, preferably by mid August ‘17.

Who can be a VOY volunteer? Anyone aged 16+. We aim to reflect the community we work in, and we particularly welcome Black and Minority Ethnic applicants, local young people, and EVERYONE of ANY background who is keen to work with young people on their terms, valuing their views and perspectives. All volunteers need a DBS (criminal record) check – an unrelated criminal record is no problem, but please discuss this with us in advance. Travel expenses available, please ask for details.

Read about VOY’s story!

You can read about VOY’s story in Chapter 6 of this book, where the story is told in dialogue by some of VOY’s early co-op members and volunteers. The book is written by one of VOY’s founder members, Tania, based partly on her experience in VOY; she also undertook interviews and focus groups with many other part-time and volunteer youth workers from a variety of youth organisations around England. You can buy the book here and if you want a 35% discount you can sign up to Policy Press’s newsletter. Academic books rarely make a profit for the author, but if this one does, any profits will be donated to Voice of Youth and In Defence of Youth Work.


Volunteers and potential new co-op members wanted!

Volunteers wanted!

  • We are looking for volunteer youth workers to work on Wednesday evenings in Hackney.
  • We believe in youth work that is based on young people’s needs and wishes and is informal, educational, co-operative and anti-oppressive.
  • We aim to reflect the diversity of the communities we work in, and we particularly welcome Black and Minority Ethnic applicants.
  • If interested contact voyhackney@gmail.com


  • Working one evening per week (Wednesdays around 5:30-9:30) alongside other youth workers / volunteers at Lea View Community Hall, Springfield, Hackney E5.
  • Having conversations with young people, getting to know them, keeping them safe, building professional relationships, working with them to organise things they are interested in doing.
  • Setting up, clearing away and evaluating the session each week with colleagues.
  • Taking part in VOY meetings (every one or two months).
  • Developing as a youth worker by taking part in evaluations, training and group supervision.
  • Following the VOY safeguarding policy and our other policies.



  • Willing to work towards VOY principles (see http://www.voice-of-youth.org/principles)
  • Be reliable and a good communicator, e.g. let us know when you can’t make it
  • Age 16+
  • Commit to at least 6 months if at all possible (any concerns about this, let us know)

Preferred (but not essential):

  • Links to Hackney
  • Youth work experience / training / qualification


  • You need to be available for our main session every Wednesday 6-8:30 for young people, so approx. 5:30-9:30 for staff.
  • You also need to attend at least some of our VOY meetings (times vary).


  • Volunteers can usually claim reasonable travel expenses if needed – talk to us for more details.
  • Volunteers with criminal records should contact us for an informal chat – it won’t prevent you from volunteering unless your record could endanger the young people or VOY. (We do carry out DBS criminal record checks on all volunteers).
  • After you have been volunteering regularly for 6 months you can be considered to become a full co-operative member (running the co-operative and sharing in any paid work available).
  • We run an induction session to welcome and inform new volunteers, we offer regular group supervision for development, and we organise training and socials.
  • Students may be able to do their youth work placement with us, as long as they meet all other requirements and if they can make up their placement hours elsewhere if needed (we are a part-time volunteer-run project and mainly work on Wednesday evenings). If interested, get in touch.

How to apply to be a volunteer: Get in touch! voyhackney@gmail.com