Volunteering Matters 2015 EVS Intercultural Development Project
Start date: Jan 1, 2016,
End date: Dec 31, 2017
The Volunteering Matters 2015 EVS Intercultural Development Project will bring together 9 organisations from the UK, Austria and Germany with many years experience of EVS projects. The organisations will work together through strong partnerships to devise a range of high quality, meaningful, face to face volunteering opportunities which will aid intercultural development while addressing real social needs in society and communities in the UK. The project will be based in a diverse range of geographical locations across Wales, Scotland and England, including Bristol, Crowthorne, Derby, Edinburgh, Essex, Norfolk and Torfaen. The project will work with socially excluded children, young people, people with learning, physical and sensory disabilities, people with mental health issues and older people.The objectives of the project are:• To promote intercultural development and diversity, raising awareness of different cultures and countries• To improve communities through positive social action• To enable people to be active citizens through taking an active part in their communities• To improve the health, well-being, independence and quality of life of individuals• To promote social inclusion in society• To raise individuals’ levels of attainment and achievement and help them achieve their full potential • To enable everyone involved in the project, volunteers, beneficiaries, organisations and project staff, to learn and benefit through the experience• To enable people to gain skills, knowledge and experience, improving their chances of gaining employment or accessing educational opportunitiesThe project will involve 16 volunteers from Austria and Germany, aged between 18 and 30. The volunteers will each volunteer for approximately 12 months.The activities will include: befriending and mentoring beneficiaries, talking, listening and building relationships; providing support and companionship; supporting people to access social, leisure, sports, environmental, educational and outdoor activities to build confidence and community integration including trying new interests and accessing cinemas, shopping, swimming, bowling, eating out and attending education classes; supporting group activities such as arts and crafts groups, lunch clubs and fitness groups; supporting people to investigate their own volunteering opportunities and to volunteer at community projects such as charity shops, nurseries, community cafés, animal sanctuaries or gardening projects; supporting people to gain new skills through training such as life skills, basic skills, budgeting, travel and CV writing; supporting people to access relevant forums and services; supporting people to set up their own groups such as steering groups, newsletter groups and new media groups; assisting people to access public transport to get to opportunities, community facilities, shopping and appointments; and identifying new opportunities and interests to suggest to the beneficiaries.The project will be run through the partners working together to recruit volunteers, organise intercultural seminars to select volunteers, develop well planned volunteering opportunities, and supporting activities through a system of volunteer and project partner reviews. This will all be coordinated through our International Team hub.It is expected that the project will deliver considerable impact on all volunteers, partners and beneficiaries and promote intercultural development. The volunteers will have a unique intercultural experience, learn about the beneficiaries they will volunteer with, improve competences and gain new skills, knowledge and experience, have improved personal development, be more aware of European affairs and be better prepared for the world of work or study, preventing future youth unemployment. The Receiving Organisations will benefit from the added value that the volunteers will bring to their work through intercultural diversity, different experiences and perspectives, and new ideas, interests and skills, enabling them to diversify the activities they undertake with beneficiaries and communities. The Sending Organisations will meet their objectives of sending volunteers to a different country to have intercultural experiences. The beneficiaries will become more socially included and more active citizens through taking an active part in their communities and accessing social, leisure, educational and outdoor activities. We will meet our objectives to promote volunteering in an international context, provide opportunities for intercultural exchanges between our volunteers and our project partner organisations and promote and increase the cultural diversity of our volunteersIt is hoped that the project will leave a sustainable legacy to the volunteers, beneficiaries and communities, through the activities continuing after the project and being developed through other Erasmus+/EVS projects and volunteers in the future.
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