volunteers in kitchen

Volunteering Projects


European Solidarity Corps funding for Volunteering Projects help UK organisations to widen their impact, by sending volunteers abroad or hosting them. This type of project gives young people the chance to play a part in the daily work of organisations, providing a valuable experience for both them and the organisation.

Participants travel and accommodation costs can be covered for the duration of the activity and some spending is provided for additional personal expenses. Relevant training will be given before the activity starts and after arrival on site. 

Overall, these projects last from three months to two years. For young people, this could mean up to a year abroad as a volunteer. Activities as short as two weeks can be funded, especially to encourage the participation of people with fewer opportunities. Applicants must hold the Quality Label (or Erasmus+ volunteering accreditation), as host or supporting organisations.

Types of activities

Volunteering Projects can combine one or more of the main activities: Individual Volunteering Placements and Volunteering Teams.

Individual Volunteering Placements
Volunteering Teams

This activity allows young people aged 18-30 to take part in unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in the UK or abroad.

Young people have the opportunity to contribute to the daily work of organisations that make a difference to the ultimate benefit of communities where the activities take place. Organisations support participants in preparation for their placements, with training and mentoring, depending on their role within the project, to ensure a high quality experience for young people.     

Duration: usually, from two to 12 months, but young people with fewer opportunities can have shorter placements, starting from two weeks.

Number of organisations: for cross-border activities, at least two organisations, a hosting organisation and a support organisation, must be involved in the project. For in-country activities, the minimum requirement is one hosting organisation.

A Volunteering Team can include between 10 and 40 young people, coming from at least two different countries. Volunteering Teams projects have a shorter duration which suits young people who cannot commit for a long period of time (because of their studies or a job), but still want to help a community.

Duration: from two weeks to two months

Number of organisations: at least one host organisation

Who can take part

Organisations: Any public or private organisation legally established in a participating country can apply. Also, these organisations, as well as the ones established in a partner country, can take part in a project as partners. 

Young people: Aged 18-30 from an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, North Macedonia, Turkey and Countries neighbouring the EU. They must be registered on the portal to take part in volunteering projects.

From 1 January 2021, some participants coming to the UK may require a visa under the T5, Temporary Worker, Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme. This is part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) points-based system and is needed before participants can take up their placement in the UK. For more details, please take a look at the Erasmus+ website.

Additional resources

Check out our additional resources on Volunteering Projects:

Application process

Who can apply: any organisation holding the Quality Label or Erasmus+ volunteering accreditation

How to apply: check the 'Open Calls' tab for the ESC11 Volunteering Projects web form, when available

Guidance for application (for reference purposes only): 

Deadlines: the 2020 deadlines have now passed (11 February, 7 May and 1 October, 11am UK time)

Read our webpage for the latest information on European Solidarity Corps and the EU transition period.

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