Senior volunteering projects

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Social inclusion


Senior Volunteering in Social Services/Sis- Partnership
Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz Landesverband Steiermark – AT –

Bulgarian Red Cross – BG –
The general objective of the project “Senior volunteers in social services” (SiS-partnership) is to enable staff and older volunteers of the Austrian Red Cross and the Bulgarian Red Cross to learn from each other by exchanging older volunteers who are active in providing services to people from vulnerable groups. Specific objectives include creating learning opportunities for older volunteers and organisations with respect to new areas of social support by volunteers, new ideas and methods of valuing (older) volunteers and age awareness/advocacy. Specifically, four volunteers who are active within the social services of the Bulgarian Red Cross will volunteer in Austria for three weeks in May 2010. They will have the opportunity to participate in a range of services, such as visiting services for older people, assistance for migrant families or assisting with blood donation activities, as well as being able to present their activities to other Austrian volunteers and staff members. In September 2010, four volunteers from Styria will be placed in Plovdiv. For example, they will be helping people with disabilities in the local railway station, supporting the staff of a soup kitchen and participating in visits as well as presenting their activities to other Bulgarian volunteers and staff members.


Volunteers for People with Special Needs (Εθελοντές για Άτομα με Ειδικές Ανάγκες)

Institute for Community Rehabilitation – GR –

The aim of the programme is to train volunteers aged around 50 to acquire new skills involving the management of people with special needs. Six individuals from Greece and Cyprus, who work or want to work as volunteers for people with special needs, will have the opportunity to be educated through this action, taking part in the activities of the two partner organisations as volunteers for three weeks.

More specifically, the volunteers will be trained in both organisations/institutions through the daily programmes that are implemented by specialized staff and concern young adults with special needs. Other educational visits may also take place. The aim is for these volunteers to acquire skills that concern communication, empowerment, respect, handling, craftsmanship, the common action of autonomous living, basic skills, theatre, sports and the arts for people with special needs.

Through this informal education, the volunteers will acquire the motivation to voluntarily offer their services as volunteers, they will function as active citizens, they will shed the stereotypes of age and will be ready to offer their services not only to people with special needs but also to other vulnerable groups. The volunteers will receive a certificate of attendance that will be issued by the hosting institution at the end of their contribution.


Ayuntamiento de Lleida- Concejalía de Servicios Sociales y Salud Pública – ES –

Centro de Servicios para el Voluntariado- FERRARA – IT –

The main aims of the MARCHA 50 project are to organise exchanges of Senior Volunteers and to provide support for the most vulnerable groups and those facing the greatest risk of social exclusion.

This project is based on a partnership between the Service Centre for Volunteers (CSV) of Ferrara and the Personal Services Area (Concejalía de Servicios Personales) of Lleida City Council. These municipal authorities have been twinned since 1996 and have already established a sound working relationship.

The project seeks to incorporate Senior Volunteers into innovative and educational social activities and to thereby encourage senior citizens to become more active and to associate old age with collaboration and education rather than with the need to receive help.

A total of 6 volunteers from each organisation, each with local experience in voluntary work, will provide help in another community. This volunteer work will involve: caring for the mentally disabled; helping to integrate immigrants; looking after and educating young people; and sharing experiences with young people and promoting positive social values such as solidarity, tolerance and social commitment. Our aim is to gradually extend this project and to share its results with other communities in our network.


New Cultural Frameworks
Ushanga ry – FI –  

Paritaetisher Wohlfahrtsverband Bayern e.V. SPZ, Clubhaus Schwalbennest – DE –
The New Cultural Frameworks project involves the exchange of four senior volunteers from each of the participating organisations. Pairs of volunteers will participate in the project to receive peer support from each other during the exchange. The volunteers will be hosted in a Clubhouse and the volunteers leaving will also be members of these Clubhouses. A Clubhouse is a community of people with mental illness and staff who help members to get through life without hospital treatment and try to promote their economic, social and professional position in society. For the members, acting as a volunteer in a Clubhouse is a means of rehabilitation and of having meaningful work and taking part. This project will enable members to learn about a new culture and to act as volunteers in another country in a safe environment.


Porta nuova
CESIE - Centro Studi ed Iniziative Europeo – IT –

Point Europa – UK –
Porta Nuova is a project between established community-based organisations in which six senior volunteers are hosted. Both partners have substantial experience with international youth volunteering through the EU's Youth in Action Programme. The work programme will focus on two main aspects: childcare and migrants. The volunteers will work alongside paid staff and local volunteers to enrich the work, add an intercultural dimension, provide comparisons with their own country, and learn about operations in the host centres.

Committed to community 50+ (Poland / France)

Stowarzyszenie Nowa Rodzina – PL –

Solidarites Jeunesses – FR –
Two organizations - Solidarités Jeunesses and New Family Association - will exchange 5 volunteers each for the period of four weeks per volunteer as part of the Grundtvig project. The project will last two years from 01/08/2009 until 31/07/2011. The volunteers must be over 50 years of age. They will work for the benefit of disadvantaged youngsters. Volunteers will be sent in two rounds. The exchanges will not take place in parallel: first one organization sends its volunteers, and then the second one. In this way senior volunteers can have a longer international contact, get to know each other and integrate more effectively.

Volunteers will be people who have a fairly low economic status and mobility, and who without the Grundtvig programme would not be able to participate in an international exchange.

When the volunteers return they will be involved in the sending organisation in order to promote senior volunteering and openness to other cultures.


Committed to community 50+ (Poland / Turkey)
Stowarzyszenie Nowa Rodzina – PL –

Kaşif Gençlik ve Spor Kulubü Derneği – TR –

As part of the Grundtvig project, two organizations - the Kasif Youth and Sport Club Association and the New Family Association - will exchange 5 volunteers each for a period of four weeks per volunteer. The project will last two years from 01/08/2009 until 31/07/2011. The age of the volunteers will range from 50 to 60 years. They will work for the benefit of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Volunteers will be sent in two waves. The exchange will not be in parallel: first one organization sends its volunteers, and then the second one. In this way senior volunteers can have longer international contact, and get to know each other and integrate better.

Volunteers will be people who are qualified and who would not be able to participate in an international exchange without this programme. So while the volunteers improve their skills during the project, they will also teach the others what they know. After the volunteers return they will work in the sending organization to promote senior volunteering and openness to other cultures.

For the New Association Family, the project will be the beginning of international activity and for Kasif it will be an alternative way of social influence in terms of creating a positive approach to the EU when applying for EU membership.


Love, peace and... voluntary service
Stowarzyszenie APERTO – PL –

CERSEO, Centro Europeo di Ricerca e Sviluppo per l'Este e per l'Ovest – IT –
The project will be implemented in the social sphere. Volunteers will be involved in working with orphans, old people, people with disability, emigrants and socially excluded people. We would like to build up more international relationships in two small towns (Karlino and Vercelli) to show seniors an alternative (non-formal) path to personal development and social integration. In exchanging senior volunteers we see a chance to become acquainted with the European reality as well as letting Europeans know about other cultures and societies. This corresponds to the aims written into the statute of Stowarzyszenie, APERTO.
Silidarsisch mit Menschen jenseits und diesseits Alpen
Caritas Diocesi di Bolzano-Bressanone – IT –

Deutscher Caritasverband Landesverband Bayern e. V. – DE –
Die Zukunftsfahigkeit der Europaischen Gesellschaft hangt entscheidend vom solidarieschen potential der Europaischen Bevolkerung ab. Wichtiger Gradmesser fur das solidarische potential is die Bereitschaft der Burgerinnen und burger sich als Freiwillige ehrenamtlich fur andere Menschen einzusetzen. Nordlich und sudlichen der Alpen gibt es zahlreiche Menschen im fortgeschritten Alter, die bereit sind, einen Teil ihrer Freizeit in sozialer Freiwillingarbeit einzubringen,


Fraternité et solidarité européennes (FESE)

Fratellanza Popolare di Grassina – IT

Secours Populaire français de l'Hérault – FR –
This project involves an exchange of six French volunteers and six Italian volunteers between the Fratellanza Popolare di Grassina, near Florence, and the Secours populaire français in the Hérault region. The aim of the project' is to create sustainable cooperation between these two associations, in order for each partner to get to know the objectives, activities and work methods of the other. This cooperation will enable volunteers from both structures to implement an exchange of good practices on common topics (e.g. support for the elderly, access to culture, and support to socially excluded families), but also to improve the ways in which each association works, or even to widen their field of action.


"Pótnagyszülőket keresünk" - szociálisan rászoruló és fogyatékkal élő gyermekek számára szervezett nyári programok időskorú önkéntesek bevonásával - "NAGYI"
Katolikus Karitász – HU –

Caritas Asistenta Sociala, Filiala Organizatiei Caritas Alba Iulia/ Organizatia Caritas Alba Iulia Filiala Targu-Mures – RO –

Die Caritas Ungarn und die Organizatia Caritas Alba Iulia Filiala Targu-Mures organisieren regelmasig kostenlose Sommerprogramme für sozial benachteiligte und behinderte Kindern im Alter 6-17. Bei diesen Projekten arbeiten mit den Kindern mehrheitlich freiwillige / ehenamtliche Mitarbeiter der Caritas. Unsere Wochen- und Tagesprogramme enthalten vielfältige Tätigkeiten (Lernen, Nachholen, Sport, Basteln, usw.). In dieser freiwilligen Arbeit würden die geschickten / aufgenommenen Grundtvig 50+ Volonteere mithilfen. Nach dem beenden des Grundtvig Projektes möchten wir zwischen der Caritas Ungarn and der Caritas Alba Iulia langfristige Zusammenarbeit schaffen, um weitere Freiwillingsaustauschen zu fördern und die zustande gekommenen Kontakte zwischen in dem Programme teilgenommene Kindern und Eheramtlichen zu bewahren.

Silver Spanglish
Cumbria CREDITS Limited – UK

Association de Vecinos "Virgen de los Remedios" – ES –
The Silver Spanglish Project will bring together retired teachers from Salamanca, Spain and retired teachers, care workers and volunteers from Cumbria, UK.

The aim of Silver Spanglish is to develop confidence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose in seniors:

  • To help seniors to improve their knowledge and competences by volunteering with charitable organisations in each other’s countries;

  • To increase understanding of each others’ culture and language and develop interpersonal skills;

  • To exchange good practice in volunteering between the countries, and sample volunteer work in organisations with a European context;

  • To learn about the use of new technology and media in promoting charitable organisations and volunteering opportunities.

The organisations in which the volunteers will gain experience include: British Legion, Age Concern, the Red Cross, Caritas Salamanca, Association Virgen de los Remedios, Upperby Community Development Centre, Parents Association Piedra Franca, Parents Association Río Tormes.

The activities in which seniors will participate include:

  • Retail and customer service in charity shops;

  • Teaching assistant support working with older learners, unemployed adults and young people on vocational training programmes;

  • Fundraising and engaging new volunteers to ensure sustainability of charitable organisations;

  • Summer and bi-lingual camps for teenagers and parents;
  • Care support in local care homes and retirement homes.


International Senior Volunteering
Point Europa – UK –

Pistes-Solidaires – FR –
INSEV is a project to send/host 6 senior volunteers between two established community-based organisations. Point Europa in Cornwall, UK, and Pistes-Solidaires in Marseille, France, are active in the creation and delivery of training and learning opportunities (local, regional and international) for a wide range of people. We believe that Senior Volunteering offers a really good new component to our work. Both partners have substantial experience with international youth volunteering, through the EU’s “Youth In Action” programme. This means that we have most of the skills needed to support older volunteers. The work programme will focus on two main elements: young people and migrants. The volunteers will work with paid staff and local volunteers to enrich the work, provide comparisons with their own country, and learn about operations in the host centres. We expect that most of the participants will be active in their communities as volunteers. We will also welcome new participants with no previous volunteering experience. We want to use this first project to develop the programme in our areas. We will therefore invest a lot of time and energy on evaluation, dissemination of results and planning for future projects. The volunteers will be fully involved in this process.

Improving the knowledge and skills of seniors through the exchange of good practices and experience within the AFS organisation

AFS Interkultur – DK –

AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e. V. – DE –
Through this project, AFS Interkultur and its partner AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen in Germany wish to exchange senior volunteers within our organisation with a view to improving their knowledge and skills in the provision of education to young people and adults within the area of intercultural learning.

Most of the educational work within the AFS organisation is being done in the local chapters/member committees and is performed by ASF volunteers. A large proportion of those volunteers are mature persons. The opportunity to further develop their competencies and introduce new practices and methods in their activities by means of an extended period spent with their counterparts in the partner country will help them stay mentally fit and also help them maintain their employability as they grow older. Moreover, AFS educational exchange programs traditionally target young people. However, in view of the aging population, more and more people over the age of 50 will be interested in and will benefit from our intercultural learning activities. This project will be part of the ongoing process of making AFS intercultural learning accessible to people of all ages. Other examples of such efforts within the AFS organisation include the introduction of a community service program for people between the ages of 30 and 75 and a teacher exchange program open to fully trained teachers of all ages.

Volunteer Seniors in Schools
Association Denmark-Latvia – DK –

Rite Tautskola – LV –

Seniors from Latvia will work together with seniors in Denmark and vice versa. They will work according to the principle of SIS: "Seniors in Schools". The idea of SIS is to let seniors work voluntarily in schools as mentors, role models and guides, together with the teachers and supporting them, but not substituting for them. Both the seniors and the schoolchildren will benefit. Both groups will get a better quality of life. They both experience the other generation and enrich their views of one another. SIS works well in Sweden and this project should help to spread it in Denmark and Latvia. The Grundtvig project, "Volunteer Seniors in Schools" (VSIS), will add the dimension of different countries with separate cultures. The project should describe the various versions of the idea implemented in these countries. Letting seniors from the two countries work together in each other's social environment should help to put some of the different ideas and perspectives into context and promote discussion. This exchange will enrich the idea with new views on educational processes and methods. It will serve as an example of informal learning as exemplified in the "Volkshochschule" model. After the project is finished, the resulting personal contacts will be supported by cooperative activities through Rite Tautskola and Association Denmark/Latvia.

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