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Catch22 named placement partner for UK Year of Service

Close-up of a person bending down to pick up litter in the park. Their feet and a gloved hand can be seen.

Catch22 is one of the placement partners for a new young people’s UK Year of Service scheme launched today. £10m is being made available for youth citizenship initiatives to support post-COVID recovery.

£6m is being made available to fund the scheme, plus a further £3.5m on similar programmes, supporting the generation most hit by COVID and reshaping lives and prospects post-pandemic. The flagship programme will see more than 400  young people take part in a “year of service” from August this year, with recruitment starting later this month. Placements lasting between 9 and 12 months will consist of 3 major elements:

  • A service placement delivering public good
  • Training
  • Support for career planning advice and connections to employers.

Job roles will range from delivering COVID-19 vaccinations and helping pupils catch up on missed education, to revitalising the country’s forests.

Alongside Catch22, current placement partners include Groundwork, City Year, Volunteering Matters, Muslim Charities Forum, St John’s Ambulance, British Red Cross, The Growth Company and The Conservation Volunteers

More Placement Partners will be invited to join later in the year. The NCS Trust RCB will act as the ‘National Partner’ for the scheme, providing training across placements, recruitment support and operational leadership.

Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit young people disproportionately hard. Many have missed out on crucial stages of their education, on employment opportunities and on the kind of social interactions that are so important when growing up. Despite the challenges, we’ve seen young people show incredible creativity, drive and resilience.

“Putting young people at the heart of the post-COVID recovery is key to helping the nation thrive in the wake of the pandemic; harnessing the skills and energy of our younger generation to build a better society. We are extremely proud to have been selected for the pilot and we are keen to deliver the kind of impact that will ensure this programme gets wider take up.”

Mark Gifford, CEO of NCS Trust said:

“We’re proud to support this year of service programme in its desire to create citizenship opportunities for young people as they begin to emerge from the shadow of COVID, driving further towards our vision of a country of connected, confident and caring citizens where everyone feels at home.”

All the programmes run for between two and four years.