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Skills Connect
Start date: Mar 1, 2015, End date: Feb 28, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Online communities are hugely powerful in supporting young people to identify, address and act on their issues. However the effectiveness of any online support community lies in the engagement of the young people who use it. This project aims to recruit 280 young volunteers aged 16-25 to enhance the quality and scope of peer to peer interactions delivered through online support communities in the UK and Denmark. The project will see members of these communities trained to enhance the quality of support available to the 500,000 young people who access these communities annually while gaining valuable personal skills leading to employability. We will develop a light touch, accessible volunteering opportunity designed to promote safe, high quality interactions between young people and the advocacy of the service through their personal networks. The opportunity will be supported by an innovative digital badging scheme developed with HR professionals that recognises the training and achievement of the young people taking part, displays this within the communities and provides a direct link to self-development and potential employment across the EU. Running over two years, the impact of the programme along with learnings and case studies will be collected annually. This work will build towards the publication and dissemination of a report that captures best practice and sets out a transferrable model for delivery for use in other organisations engaged to community management and therapeutic peer to peer activities with young people.

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