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London Connects II
Start date: Jul 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The German YMCA in London has a long history of international youth work. As such we see our participation in the European Voluntary Service as an expansion of the services we offer to young people. In planning meetings with the local churches and schools we wanted to address the need for the local community to meet up and to organise and participate in various cultural activities. Furthermore we believe working with various community projects together we can reach more people and support each other which improves they quality of our service to the community. We think that the European Voluntary Service aims to provide young voluntary workers with an intercultural learning experience and the opportunity to acquire many skills which will be useful for their social and professional integration. the German YMCA offers a variety of cultural and leisure-time activities, advice, support and help. We work closely together with other organisations of the German-speaking community and the local community. By hosting volunteers, we want to make the volunteers aware of how rich may be their contribution to this work – everyone is needed. We are offering a free time programme for young volunteers, aupairs and students most of them are staying only for a certain period in London,a training programme about cultural diversity for young people, a programme for elderly people including a befriending programme and a cultural programme open for all ages. Further more we cooperate with the local churches and schools in several projects for children together. The role of the volunteers were to offer their special skills connected to and co-ordinated with the program and projects of the GermanYMCA and the German speaking and local community. The volunteers had the possibility to be part of various projects and had the opportunity to develop own projects and activities. Activities of the volunteers: visiting older people, offering play activities for toddlers and young children, connect and support with parents, assisting teachers as classroom assistant, organising free-time activities for young people like going to the cinema, going to disco, theatre etc, helping to plan and run social activities for all age groups, help to plan, organise and run events like summer/Christmas parties, charity events, concerts, talks etc... We hosted two volunteers (one female/one male) from Germany. Duration of service was 11 months, the project took place in London, UK. Our volunteers helped us to understand that we need to get more involved in our local community and they helped us to reflect on this and to plan future projects with new volutneers. They organised as part of their own project a programme for young people. Furthermore they created a short movie about voluntary/au-pair work and created a new webpage for younger users which is now online.

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