Volunteers Week: We spoke to vinspired, leaders in youth volunteer opportunities.
What is vinspired? How did it come about?
We’ve been around for ten years and over that time have matched over 2 million young people into volunteer placements. Just go to our website, vinspired.com and search for volunteer roles that are on your doorstep. You can then claim vAwards which are recognized by UCAS.
What is the Inspired Card?
Every person who signs up to our site can get the Inspired Card for free, it’s our way of saying thank you for being interested in volunteering. As you do more volunteering and get involved, the card will unlock different levels of reward to recognise your commitment.
"...sign up quickly..."
We are part of the European Youth Card (EYCA) family, and because of this the card is packed with discounts on culture, accommodation, travel, shopping and more. You can use it all over England, Scotland and Europe. And this won’t change after Brexit.
It’s very similar to a loyalty card. You can use it to get money off things or claim discounts from the brands you like; it gives you reduced prices to get into places and if you want to travel in Europe this summer after your exams you can use it there too, for reduced travel, free entry to places and discounts on hostels.
How will this benefit young people? How can they use it?
There’s a few different ways of claiming your discount. Some partners just want you to “show and go” but you can also use it online, so make sure you know how to claim your reward.
There are over 60,000 discounts across Europe, so check them out by searching the database on www.eyca.org there is also an interactive map, to find out how to use the card in each country.
This is digital, so what happens to card holders’ data?
As a charity we are very serious about protecting your data. You can decide what information you want to receive, or decide to opt out of emails altogether. Due to new data protection regulations called GDPR, your data is even more protected.
Any information you tell us is kept securely - we only use it to help us work out what you will like or be interested in. You can tell us as much or as little as you like about yourself, and we will only ask you things that are relevant for the service we offer – we aren’t nosey!
When will the card be in use?
The card launches in June, but if you sign-up now we’ll make sure you are one of the first to be invited to apply. It’s free in England thanks to the first few thousand being funded by The Big Lottery fund and DCMS - that’s the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
"We're lucky to be able to offer it for free..."
We are really lucky to be able to offer it for free, as if you buy it directly from EYCA it costs 14 euros.
Is it just for London or are there plans for it to roll out nationally?
Wherever you are in England you can sign-up, but sign up quickly as we’ve only got 20,000 free cards to give away to start with.
What sort of volunteering activities can young people actually do?
There really is a volunteering opportunity for everyone; whether sport or music is your thing, if you want to travel far and wide or help out closer to home, there will be an opportunity that’s just right for you.
There are loads of opportunities – visit the website to find out more!