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How do you tend to spend your free time? Gardening, exercising, reading or meeting up with friends? Well, have you ever thought about volunteering? There may be lots of skills you have that could benefit your community and the young people who live there.
CSO Kim Parry with Insp Giles and the Caldicot Brownies

CSO Kim Parry with Insp Giles and the Caldicot Brownies

The Young Dragons scheme is an initiative that was set up by The Princes Trust in 2010 to offer young people access to uniformed groups such as the police, army and fire service cadets as well as Scouts and Brownie groups.

The Young Dragons help with lots of different community issues including fundraising, events and work alongside the police to encourage crime prevention and community safety.
In Gwent, there is an urgent need to increase the number of adult volunteers. Unfortunately, some local uniform groups have had to close or merge, meaning that the opportunities for young people to get involved are reduced, and they have to travel further to get involved. This is a problem replicated across Wales – there are approximately 420,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 and only 36,000 spaces in uniform groups.

A real chance to make a difference

Kim Parry, who works as a Community Support Officer in Monmouthshire also finds time to volunteer for a local Brownie group.

Kim explained: “I volunteer each week for 2nd Caldicot Brownies which is the group that I went to as a child at the age of 7. I help every Monday and when there are special events on.
“We have around 23 girls in our group aged between 7 and 10 and I work with another Brownie Leader to plan activities, pack holidays and what badges the girls will work on. My job as a CSO fits in perfectly and the skills I have benefit the children. They have to learn about crime prevention for one of their badges and I can tell them about the role of local officers and what to do if they need help and how to keep themselves safe. Working in Caldicot, most of the young people know me or recognise me which helps me interact with young people and encourage them to act responsibly.

“Volunteering has really brought me out of my shell and I have learnt lots of new things. I would definitely encourage people to get involved with Young Dragons; you have a real chance to make a difference to a young person’s life.”

So how can you help?

What skills are needed? Your skills would be best matched to a role – organising activities, administration, IT skills. If you need any training or qualifications, they can be arranged for you.

Where would I be based?

You can choose which youth group you would prefer working with and which location would be convenient for you.

I don’t have much time – is there a limit?

We know people are very busy but volunteers are asked to try and help out once a week, even if it’s just for an hour at a time.

Is there an age limit?

You need to be over the age of 17 to volunteer, but there’s no upper age limit.

Will there be any cost?

You will be required to have a CRB check but there will be no cost to you.

How can I get involved?

For more information about Young Dragons, please e-mail Abergavenny Inspector Roland Giles at or phone 01633 838111 (extension 741 2361).

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