Volunteering Matters 2016 EVS Exchange and Change ..
Volunteering Matters 2016 EVS Exchange and Change Project
Start date: Aug 1, 2016,
End date: Jul 31, 2018
The Volunteering Matters 2016 Exchange and Change Project will bring together 9 organisations from the UK, Albania, France, Italy, Austria and Germany with many years experience of EVS projects. The organisations will work together through strong partnerships to devise high quality, meaningful, volunteering opportunities which, through international exchanges, will address real social needs in society and communities in the UK and bring change to the lives of the beneficiaries and the volunteers themselves. The project will be based in a diverse range of geographical locations across Scotland and England, including Derby, Edinburgh, Essex and Norfolk. The project will benefit 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 enable volunteers from 5 different countries to take part in an international youth exchange and raise awareness of different cultures and countries, and diversity• To enable volunteers to exchange ideas with other volunteers• To help change people’s chances of gaining employment and accessing educational opportunities through gaining skills, knowledge and experience• To raise individuals’ levels of attainment and achievement and help them achieve their full potential • To help change communities through positive social action• To promote a change in the health, well-being, independence and quality of life of individuals• To promote social inclusion in society• To enable people to be active citizens through taking an active part in their communities• To enable everyone involved in the project, volunteers, beneficiaries, organisations and project staff, to learn and benefit through the experienceThe project will involve 10 volunteers from Albania, France, Italy, 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, 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 and lunch clubs; supporting people to find their own volunteering opportunities and to volunteer at projects such as charity shops, nurseries, community cafés, animal sanctuaries or gardening projects; supporting people to gain new skills through training in life skills, basic skills, budgeting, travel and CV writing; supporting people to access 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.It is expected the project will change the lives of volunteers, partners and beneficiaries. Through unique international exchanges, volunteers will learn about the beneficiaries, improve competences and gain new skills, knowledge and experience, have improved personal development, be more aware of European affairs and be better prepared for work or study, preventing future youth unemployment. The Receiving Organisations will benefit from the added value that volunteers will bring through cultural diversity, different 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 arranging international exchanges. The beneficiaries will become more socially included 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, increase the cultural diversity of our volunteers, promote cultural awareness and provide opportunities for high quality exchanges between our volunteers and our project partners, including through hosting volunteers from France and Italy for the first time It 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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