Once you are registered on the European Solidarity Corps portal, you can find a wide range of opportunities posted by various organisations across Europe.
Social action is at the core of the European Solidarity Corps, so expect to find projects with exciting ways to make a difference. For example, you could get involved in environmental work in forests, support refugees to resettle or bring improvements to a small village.
There’s more – European Solidarity Corps projects can also relate to inclusion, democratic participation, disaster prevention, health and wellbeing, and education. The list is long and keeps growing with more funded projects every year.
Volunteering and Traineeships and Jobs placements are full time, but duration can vary. You could spend a whole year abroad, but there are also opportunities for shorter placements, starting from two weeks, if that suits you more.
Have a great idea and can’t wait to get it started with your friends? You could set up your own local project for causes that matter to you with Solidarity Projects funding.
Click on the tabs below to know more.
Volunteering in a European Solidarity Corps project means being involved in the daily work of an organisation in the form of community-level projects, in the UK or abroad.
Accommodation and meal costs are covered as part of the placement (including a holiday period). You will get pocket money and travel expenses up to a set amount, as well as insurance coverage. Worried about your language skills? Not a problem: linguistic support can be provided.
Your participation can be individual (known as Individual Volunteering Placement) or in a group (called Volunteering Teams).
Individual Volunteering Placements
This is the classic style of volunteering, with great emphasis on the benefits that the experience could bring to you as the volunteer. Not only will you feel rewarded for helping a community, you will also receive training before your placement, as well as throughout and after the experience. There will be support to help you make the most of it.
The exact destination, duration and type of placement will depend on the project you get involved with. Usually, these placements can last from two to 12 months, but young people with fewer opportunities can have shorter placements, starting from two weeks.
If you don’t feel ready to embark in an experience on your own, you can participate in a group of 10 to 40 young people from different countries, this is called a Volunteering Team. The group volunteers together in a community for a period between two weeks and two months.
It’s also a good option for those who cannot commit for a long period of time, but still want to make a difference.
Who can apply: young people aged 18-30 from an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Countries neighbouring the EU who are registered on the portal.
How to apply: search for opportunities on the portal
Please note: a volunteer can take part in only one Solidarity Corps volunteering activity. This means that if you have already been part of an Erasmus+ volunteering activity or a European Voluntary Service, unfortunately you are not able to apply. For further details on possible exceptions, please check the Corps Guide.
Within the European Solidarity Corps, you can find opportunities for work practice in a type of project called Traineeships and Jobs. This sort of activity can help you to boost your skills while helping communities, facilitating your transition into the labour market.
Although a work experience, it includes a solid learning and training component which will help you to gain relevant skills for your professional, social and personal development.
European Solidarity Corps Traineeships and Jobs are paid placements, in line with the national rules of the country where you will be working. If you are given a job, you will be expected to cover living expenses and accommodation from the payment received. Costs such as travel, relocation and additional personal expenses are covered up to a set amount. Linguistic support is available, if needed, and you will be covered by insurance.
A European Solidarity Corps Traineeship lasts between two and six months. It is remunerated by the organisation responsible for your traineeship. From the beginning of the experience, you will know what to expect, as there will be a written traineeship agreement.
Traineeships do not substitute jobs and are clearly separated from voluntary activities. This type of placement is available outside the UK only.
A European Solidarity Corps Job is a full-time work practice that can last from three to 12 months in the UK or abroad. It will be remunerated by the organisation employing you. You will have a clear idea of what to expect before it starts, as there will be a written employment contract agreed in advance.
Who can apply: young people aged 18-30 from an EU Member State who are registered on the portal
How to apply: search for opportunities on the portal
Do you have a great idea in mind to improve your local community? Within Solidarity Projects, you could set up a project yourself, with a group of friends, and take social action wherever you live in the UK.
With this type of activity, groups of at least five young people can come up with and run a project locally. It could address key challenges within the local area, whilst also helping tackle regional or even national issues.
Your group must have a clearly defined topic that you wish to explore together, with concrete daily activities that involve all the participants. Think about working methods and project management – you will decide these too.
Climate change, gender equality, democratic engagement, or other topics – it’s all about the causes that matter to you.
If you’d like, you could choose to work with an experienced organisation when applying for funding or find a coach to support the group (someone with youth work experience, for example).
The project can last from two to 12 months and it can be part-time.
Applying for Solidarity Projects is a straightforward process. In the application form, you will be asked questions such as why you want to carry out this project, how it will benefit the community, and which activities you are planning to run during the preparation and implementation of the idea.
Before you apply
There are six steps to get your group ready to apply for funding.
1. Create your group: call other young people from your community and bring together your group with a common idea or topic.
2. Get everyone registered: all members of the group should join the European Solidarity Corps Portal.
3. Have a PIC number: one member of the group takes the role of ‘group leader’ and registers on the Participant Portal to obtain a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Alternatively, you can identify an organisation that is willing to apply on your behalf (either they already are registered on the Participant Portal and have a PIC, or they will obtain one).
4. Do your homework: it’s time to get geeky! Read the specific guidance and watch tutorials on writing your application to know what to expect when filling the form.
5. Create your project: structure your ideas with our planner, cross check it with the guide for applicants and fill the application webform in.
6. Submit your application. Don’t miss the deadline, and good luck!
Who can apply: a group of minimum five young people aged 18-30 from an EU Member State, or an organisation (public or private) can apply on your behalf. You must be registered on the European Solidarity Corps portal to initiate and participate in a Solidarity Project.
How to apply: check the 'Open Calls' tab for the ESC31 Solidarity Projects web form
Guidance for application (for reference purposes):
Ask for help: you can fill the Project Outline Form (204 KB) in and submit to the UK National Agency by 15 September 2019 to book a support session on your project idea
Upcoming deadline: Round 3 on 1 October 2019 (11am UK time)