The “Ascent” is based on an individual volunteering placement but the emphasis is on making a sustained commitment to volunteering and achievement through personal development and learning. At this stage young people will be expected to understand what volunteering is, think about their motivation for getting involved and the beneficiaries.
With support from the Gateway or other adult enabler, the participants will develop a volunteering “Pathway” to guide them through their personal “Ascent”. This will evolve into a record of their volunteering, the skills and experience gained as well as demonstrating their awareness and understanding of how their personal involvement benefits others.
A component of the “Saltire Journal”, the “Pathway” encourages participants to focus on the following –
- Why do they want to volunteer?
- What can they bring to the placement?
- What they hope to gain from it?
- Who will benefit & how?
The “Pathway” will be a unique personal journey for each and every volunteer but will be used to identify learning outcomes and skills development as well as to record and evaluate success. It will assist participants to identify the transferable skills they acquire that employers, further & higher education institutes now routinely demand.
Certificates are awarded after 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours. As with the “Approach”, after 50 hours of volunteering the first certificate can be claimed or the young person can opt to continue to the 100 hour certificate. Likewise they can opt to claim at 100 hours or continue to complete the 200 hours. All participants successfully completing 200 hours will automatically receive a certificate as will those who complete 500 hours.
The Ascent is aimed at young people from age 14 (S3) upwards with participants aiming for at least 50 hours of volunteering. Young people progressing from the Approach to the Ascent build upon the hours already achieved i.e. if they have completed the 25 hour Approach, then they only require to volunteer for a further 25 hours to achieve the 50 hour Ascent. The flexibility of the awards allows workers and participants to select the Award which best suits each individual.