|The VOIS Mission Statement
a community of young people, of all abilities and from all backgrounds, who have
an interest in being part of the solution to social problems - young people working
together to think, write, speak about and act on issues that affect them, their
communities and their world using the tools of research, investigation, analysis
VOIS is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. VOIS was launched in
December 1995 by two of its current Directors, Bisi Akiwumi-Jones and Michael
Whiteley, to host web sites and link pages on the Internet on behalf of voluntary
organisations and to promote the service to young people. VOIS clients, during
the five years it operated its service for the voluntary sector, included a very
broad range of organisations from Abbeyfield Society, the National Council for
Voluntary Organisations and National Centre for Volunteering, to, Shelter and
Dogs for the Disabled.
In 1997, the Directors decided that for the organisation to have impact in
engaging young people, it would have to interact directly with them. They realised
that making a difference would involve finding new, innovative ways of working
with the target audience and were of the view that this would require integrating
the values of the corporate sector and the voluntary and public sector. Another
major consideration was the long-term ambition of the Directors for VOIS to become
a self-funding organisation.
Since 1997, the company has diligently developed its reputation for delivering
good quality projects through small-scale pilots, extensive market research with
its target audience and building strong partnerships with schools in its pilot
Borough, the London Borough of Brent.
Until recently, professional delivery on a shoe string, the ability to identify
market sectors with potential opportunities for raising revenues and a firm commitment
to empowering young people to see themselves as part of the solution to social
problems have helped the organisation maintain the high standards of good practice
expected by the Directors.
The Directors are now poised to take the organisation on to another phase in
its development. This involves ensuring not only that the projects are well resourced
but, also, that the organisation can begin to reach and impact on the lives of
larger numbers of young people than it has so far been able to do.