This year, we celebrate Volunteers’ Week by shining a spotlight on participants who make a difference in their Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps projects.
While European Voluntary Service (EVS) projects funded previously under Erasmus+ are still underway, our first European Solidarity Corps volunteering projects are starting their activities. These volunteers take part in a variety of activities, supporting the organisations in helping communities while learning valuable skills.
Run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year in the UK. Some of our beneficiaries say ‘thank you’ to their volunteers by sharing their inspiring stories.
A life-time of experience in one year
Rosa Inês Soares from Portugal has been on a Youth Engagement placement with the British Red Cross in Glasgow since September. Her day-to-day work includes supporting the organisation’s International Youth Volunteering Team, which means working with other young volunteers. She also helps organise events and delivers crisis education sessions in schools around Glasgow. On these sessions, she raises awareness about the Red Cross and topics such as first aid and mental health.
The 23 year-old was looking for a break after her International Relations course at university, before deciding her next steps . The placement has now opened a range of possibilities to her: “It isn’t just a year in your life. It is a life in one year.” About her future, Rosa says, “I will be chasing new opportunities, learning and trying to improve myself. I am eager to continue to learn.”
"EVS is understanding. EVS is unbelievable. EVS is learning."
Rosa also shared with us the experience from other two fellow volunteers who have their placements with the British Red Cross in Liverpool:
Tatevik Petoyan, from Armenia – EVS volunteer in Liverpool with the Refugee Service
“It’s been eight months since that I started my placement in Liverpool which has already become home for me. I’m sure applying for this placement was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life because it’s the best way to learn new culture and language, gain professional and personal experience, challenge yourself and be more independent, meet new people and make international friends.”
Eda Arslan, from Turkey – EVS volunteer in Liverpool in Fundraising
“Doing an international volunteer placement is one of the best ways to know more about yourself, where you want to go in life, what you would like to do for your next. It teaches you in ways you can’t even imagine at the beginning of this journey. One of the things this placement has taught me is ‘The most valuable experiences come once you get out of your comfort zone and start a new journey.’”
On social media, other European Solidarity Corps beneficiaries, such as Edinburgh-based International Voluntary Service, Bryson Charitable from Northern Ireland and International Service from York, also said thank you by celebrating Volunteers’ Week with events and showcasing their volunteers’ experiences. Check out some of their messages below:
"I think our lovely @EUErasmusPlus @eucorps_UK volunteer Fatima speaks eloquently for all of us at the end of #VolunteersWeek ?
Big thanks to all our amazing volunteers this week & every week of the year." (Bryson EVS @BrysonEVS)
"Having celebrated another fantastic Volunteers Week, we have said goodbye to our first set of European Solidarity Corps Volunteers!
The team are embarking on an international project to promote Sports for Development amongst women and young people. #volunteersweek" (International Service @IntService)