Volunteers’ Week 2020

We have over 270 amazing volunteers supporting over 3,500 vulnerable young people across the County. This week we say an extra big THANK YOU!

Celebrating Volunteers' Week


Whilst we may not have been able to gather and celebrate with a volunteer event as we usually would, we have been spending time appreciating our volunteers’ efforts virtually.

And in true YLF style we bring you a small message from some of the YLF Team, young people and special guests to say a HUGE thank you to our wonderful volunteers for all they do:


Our Appropriate Adult volunteers work night and day to support young people and vulnerable adults in police custody by ensuring that they understand their rights and the processes they will face. Each year they provide support in custody on more than 2,800 occasions, giving up over 7,000 hours of their time!

Having been deemed as key workers our Appropriate Adults have continued to go to custody day and night despite the covid crisis!

Our Accompanying Adults support and protect the welfare of unaccompanied asylum seeking children during age assessments, which can be a very stressful and traumatic time for the young person involved. Each year they support young people in over 150 assessments and volunteer over 600 hours of their time.

A special thank you goes to two of our wonderful volunteers, Janet and Peter, who spent so much time volunteering over the last year that we wanted to make sure they could finally spend some quality time together.

Thanks to Room to Reward they now have the chance to do so…although they will have to wait until after lockdown! A huge thank you for your commitment and time.


“Your Appropriate Adults are superstars, thank you to them for what they continue to do.”

“Thank you for all of the hard work that your team of volunteers and everyone at YLF is doing to help us in this time. It is really appreciated.”

“Thanks and praise to your fantastic volunteers, always on hand, always patient and perform their role very professionally.”


The amazing work our YLF Mentors do has a real lasting impact on our young people and during the covid crisis they have adapted to offering support virtually which has been vital for most; “I can now deal with situations without getting really angry or emotional. My mentor has helped me to manage my emotions and reach my goals.”


“I wanted to take the opportunity during Volunteers Week to thank you all. You do a fantastic job using your own time helping vulnerable young people through challenging times in their lives. This has never been more important during the Covid Crisis. I have worked in partnership with YLF Volunteers over many years so when this terrible crisis passes and volunteers are still needed, I know YLF and you will still be there ready to help.

Thank you again for your continuing dedication and commitment. Your generous contribution is vital and it is very valued and appreciated by all of us in HeadStart Kent and Kent County Council. Thank you and very best wishes to you all.” David Weiss, Head of HeadStart Kent

Watch our special video of young person Tyler sharing his thoughts on how his YLF Mentor has changed his life:


We know how important our Befrienders are in the lives of vulnerable young people especially during the pandemic we all face; we continue to ensure our young people do not feel alone.


“My name is Hazel South, the lead commissioner for the Independent Visitors Contract with YLF. I have nothing but praise for the operational managers that I have met and the volunteers that I read about within each report I receive. Each person I meet has young people at the forefront of what they do.

During Volunteers’ week, I want to personally say thank you for offering your time to help Young People in Kent and give them some stability in what can only be described as the most unusual period that most of us will face. For most young people this pandemic has been hard; for those without a stable family, I cannot begin to imagine how impossible these last months have been. Because of your dedication and commitment to young people, YLF are able to continue supporting Kent children through the pandemic and beyond. Having someone to talk to can make the world of difference in that young persons life. Thank you for being you.”

Take a look at the journey of young person Sharand and her Befriender Shelley, and how being matched has changed their lives for the better:


Our young people tell us:

To all of our additional volunteers who are dedicated to supporting our young people at activity groups, events and even those of you who have given time to support us at head office or our hubs, we thank you! Your help does not go unnoticed, we are incredibly grateful for your precious time.

We could not be YLF without our volunteers!