Volunteer Outdoor Learning Training Initiative

The VOLT initiative, has been developed to promote Outdoor Learning as part of the Northern Ireland Education Service. It is a partnership between Greenhill YMCA and the Education Authority and will provide opportunities for 10 young people to train for a two year period as Outdoor Learning workers.

The Programme begins this August (2018) and the Course will last for 2 years providing Level 3 training in youth work and a range of National Governing Body awards in Outdoor Activities. The Course will be residential and a training and equipment allowance will be available to participants. The Course is designed for young people who are looking for a career in the Northern Ireland Youth Service and want to specialise in using the outdoors as a tool for the personal development of young people.

Participants will be expected to live residentially, commit to study, participate in extended placements throughout Northern Ireland and work with young people on weekends and holiday periods throughout the two years.  Year one will be based in Newcastle, while year two will involve placements at various residential centres around the country.

The Course will have a strong focus on Youth Work Practice and will include extensive classroom learning in areas such as Group Work, Planning, Managing Challenging Behaviour, Effective Communication, Disability Awareness, Anti Discriminatory Practice. Participants will also be expected to fully engage  in land and water based activities and spend considerable time learning and practicing activities in the outdoors including climbing, hill walking, sailing, kayaking, archery, bouldering and various other outdoor learning experiences.

At the end of the the two year programme the participants will have achieved:

  • Level 3 Cert in Youth Work Practice

  • Level 3 Cert in Living With Diversity

  • Level 3 Cert in Outdoor Learning

  • 2 National Governing Board Awards in Outdoor Learning

(one in land based Activity and one in Water Based Activity)

Fast Track Programme

The YMCA is also providing a fast track programme in Outdoor Learning for those with accredited prior learning. This Course will take place over a period of 8 months - August 2018 - March 2019. This Course is only open to those who can demonstrate evidence of:

  • youth work experience & training (eg 1 year working part time or full time, in a youth project)

  • Experience and training in Outdoor Activities including evidence of training ie accredited awards eg lifesaving, climbing or canoeing, etc.

The fast track group will complete the same qualifications as the 2 year Course

Those interested in the fast track programme should note they will be required to carry out addition training or practice in their personal time to ensure completion of the Outdoor Qualifications.

Please note this Programme is available for young people aged 18-25

If you have any queries or would like to apply contact jonny.hill@ymca-ireland.net