Have you heard about our Young Volunteers service? 

We caught up with our Young Volunteers at their October group session, the theme of which was Christmas! Although with 2 months to go until the big day, the group was looking at ways in which they could raise money and awareness for JIGSAW Thornbury at a Christmas community stall and café on Saturday 25th November. The young people had lots of ideas including selling hot chocolate drinks, non-alcoholic mulled wine and popcorn bags, and making hot chocolate cones as gifts. Everyone is invited to come along any time between 11am – 1pm to say hello and enjoy some treats. 

The group included 3 new members who were keen to hit the ground running by sharing their ideas too.

Young Volunteers preparing for a Plant a Sunflower activity for the community to join in with at our May fundraising stall.





The JIGSAW Young Volunteers group is for 6 – 16-year-olds who have additional needs or disabilities and their siblings. The group meets up once a month to work together to support both JIGSAW and our local community. It’s a time to have fun, make connections outside of school, and learn new things. There are occasional visits from special guests from local groups who share their passions. These have included causes such as local wildlife rescues, Pets as therapy, and the RNLI.  

The group are supported by Hattie and Lisa, with help from Libby and Alice as youth volunteers.

Lisa with Young Volunteers at our community cafe


Learning life skills 

There are always opportunities to practice skills at our community stalls and café such as collecting donations, using a card machine, serving refreshments, and speaking to members of the local community. These are really important life skills that are learned in a safe and supportive environment where we understand the challenges that young people with additional needs face and celebrate the unique strengths and qualities they bring. 

 Our Young Volunteers receiving their first aid training certificates




Awards scheme 

One of our current Young Volunteers Riley, who has been part of the group since early 2022, is taking part in the Lions Young Leaders in Service scheme. This is an award scheme where young people volunteer in their local community and log their volunteering hours to achieve an award. Currently, Riley is on track to complete his bronze award at the end of the year, which is a huge achievement.  

We are grateful to Thornbury Lions for working with us on the award scheme, of which 10 of our young volunteers signed up to take part. 

Riley says about his experience of JIGSAW Young Volunteers Service and the Lions award: 

“It’s great and I found it easy to do. I have done things from making cups of tea to participating in the Thornbury Rotary Swimarathon. I am now a part of the youth voice for the Thornbury town council.”  

Riley is representing other JIGSAW young members in the town council’s current consultation on the provision of Youth Services. He is encouraging engagement in the 2023 Youth survey to help ensure the voices of young people with additional needs and disabilities and their siblings are heard. 

Riley explains “Overall participating in Young Volunteers has increased my confidence and participating in the award has given me something to work towards and therefore made me want to achieve it”. 


Interested in joining our Young Volunteers?

If your young person is interested in connecting with others to learn new life skills and contribute to their community, get in touch with us about joining our Young Volunteers service. Please contact Lisa at youngvolunteers@jigsawthornbury.org.uk. 

Or come along and speak to us at our next Community fundraising stall and café.