Senior volunteering projects

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Protect, Vitalize, Devote
Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature – GR –

The aim of the project is to support the managers of the beaches that have received the “BLUE FLAG” award - the eco-symbol of quality - for having successfully met the relevant criterion of the international “BLUE FLAGS” Programme on ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION. Volunteers from both countries, who work voluntarily as national “Blue Flag Beach Controllers”, will visit the BLUE FLAG beaches of both countries to check whether the beaches that have received the award comply fully with all the criteria of the Programme, since observation and checks in both countries have so far shown that beach managers need help in implementing the environmental activities required in the Programme. Thanks to the close cooperation between the volunteers of both NGOs (Greek and Spanish) a support kit, which is a tool with ideas for environmental activities to be run by the Blue Flag managers, will be created and offered to them for consultation, whenever they feel they need ideas to put in practice, in their effort to raise public awareness about the crucial need to protect the environment.


Learning Through Ecological Living
Reconnects CIC – UK

Col.lectiu Eco-Actiu – ES

Learning Through Ecological Living will enable senior volunteers from the two organisations, Reconnects CIC and Col•lectiu Eco-Actiu, to carry out exchange visits. Volunteers will gain practical skills related to sustainable living and an education in the ecological principles which enable us to live in balance and harmony with each other and the natural world. The volunteers from the UK will stay at a residential ecological teaching centre in the Catalan mountains. They will engage in activities such as helping with the development of the permaculture garden, a sustainable building project, and community based education and development work. Those from Spain will contribute to a food based growing and education project in Oxfordshire and to the setting up and running of a land based ecological gathering in South West England. The volunteers will acquire new practical skills and experience, and contribute their own knowledge to the organisation they are visiting. They will discover how their respective organisations approach ecological learning in different cultural settings, and will be able to feed this back into their own organisation – thereby deepening the connections between the partner organisations and augmenting their current practice. In turn this will inform the development of Europe-wide practice and collaboration in this area.


LUNARIA - Associazione di promozione sociale ed impresa sociale – IT –

Etudes et Chantiers espace central – FR –
The volunteers will be mainly involved in a short-term voluntary service project centered on the theme of sustainable development, protection of the environment and the landscape. They will carry out practical work such as cleaning paths, clearing wood, cutting down trees, gardening and preparing information materials. They will also be involved in activities to disseminate their environmental work and the experience gained from senior exchanges in the cities of Rome and Clermont-Ferrand to spread this kind of activities.


Senior Volunteering in Environment and Nature

Umhverfisstofnun (UST) - The Environment Agency of Iceland – IS –

The project will involve 30 volunteers over the age of 50 from the UK and Iceland in practical conservation projects. Volunteers will be recruited from the volunteers who are currently working with the two organisations as a progression in their volunteering activity, and opportunities will be targeted at those who do not normally have the chance to travel. The aim of the project will be to provide a creative opportunity to learn about a different culture, look at different approaches to volunteering and conservation management techniques, whilst contributing time and energy to a partner’s project. The project will invigorate and enthuse the volunteers when they return home, where they will share their experience with others both young and old. Volunteers will learn new skills and techniques and try to master a different language. The project will help a group of people understand the wider context in which they volunteer and will contribute to a wider understanding of Europe and the role of active citizens in different countries.

Art, culture, heritage


Exchanging National Cultural Heritage
55+ Horis Synora – Kypros – CY

The Grundtvig Senior Volunteering Project «Exchanging National Cultural Heritage», ENCH, is a partnership between “55+ without frontiers - Cyprus” and Association Luster of Estonia. Both organisations will send and host volunteers, and practise and create a long-lasting relationship with shared interests in the topic of Heritage. The cultural heritage of a country lies in the country's folk art, passed on from generation to generation, and also creates new works of art. The main aim of the Project is to establish a European collaboration even after this process is completed. The main objectives of the project are:

  • To enable senior citizens to volunteer in another European country and exchange good practice, knowledge and experience

  • To create fruitful cooperation and lasting bonds between the two organisations around Cultural Heritage

  • To exchange and exhibit each other's national cultural heritage in embroidery, pottery, hand carving, mosaic, hand-made silver and gold artwork, painting, icons and sculpture, hand looming and metalwork.

  • The project activities that will be carried out in Nicosia (Cyprus) and Pärnu (Estonia) will be:

  • The organisation and presentation of an exhibition of works of art in Nicosia and in Pärnu

  • The organisation and exhibition of photos of people working with art
  • The presentation of a cultural event (with traditional dancing and music, if possible) as part of the cultural heritage.


Seniors’ Culture and History – Open, Living and Recounted
Fundaţia Centrul Educaţional Soros – RO –

CEIPES - Centro Internazionale per la Promozione dell'Educazione e lo Sviluppo – IT –
While seniors have always had an undoubtedly important role in all societies, it seems that their contribution to building a common European identity has been less intensively promoted. The younger generations travel across Europe, work and study in different European countries, and thus they feel like true European citizens. Seniors have less opportunity to share their values and beliefs with their fellow European citizens. In such circumstances they feel they derive little benefit from being citizens of the EU, and they think that they have little to contribute to building a common European culture. However, once such issues have been addressed, these senior citizens are happy to share their life experience, their personal history and culture, and they are open to intercultural and inter-generation dialogue. Therefore the project’s general aim is to facilitate a better understanding of common European values and common European history, by helping senior volunteers to share their genuine personal life experience with seniors and young people of another EU country. Four senior volunteers will participate in this project and will prepare an interactive and illustrated historical and cultural presentation of the regions they come from. They will perform their presentations for the target groups of the host organisation and its associate partners.


Pontes Ibéricas
Junta de Freguesia de Gondomar (S. Cosme) - Universidade Sénior de Gondomar – PT –

Ayuntamiento de Tudela de Duero – ES –

This project aims to develop the existing protocol between Gondomar (S. Cosme) and Ayuntamiento de Tudela de Duero. It also aims to foster an exchange of cultures and development of Portuguese and Spanish, through this opportunity for learning.

The senior volunteers of Gondomar will impart knowledge in the area of music and drama, as developed at the University of Senior Gondomar during their visit to Spain.

The senior volunteers in Tudela de Duero will foster the learning of a musical instrument, "La Dulzaina", and a traditional dance which is typical of the region "La Jota Castellana".

This project will be a great opportunity for senior volunteers to establish a linguistic exchange of knowledge, culture and experiences of life that enriches not only the volunteers of both institutions, but also the other actors involved.

Knowing each other by learning from biographies
Fundacja Kobieca eFKa – PL –

TARGED Association of Supporting Social Research and Development – TR –

The general aim of the project is to use and develop biographical learning with adults, teachers and adult educators, integrating socially marginalized persons or groups, especially women, into society. The idea of the project is to practise and develop learning about the national and cultural diversities by learning from biographies.

Senior volunteers will be active collaborators and participants in educational projects involving a biographical approach. Applying biographical approaches in settings of adult education allows learners to reflect their own (and other people’s) life experiences and personal life phases, in this case in relation to different population groups or cultures. The senior volunteers will be both “living examples” during educational activities and participants in the conceptual work of the partner organisations.

Volunteers will prepare their activity outside the country by working in a volunteer group, learning about the country, region, city and about the situation of women there. They will also learn basic Turkish / Polish. Together with the partner organisations volunteers will prepare a common web site.


Islands meeting in Europe
Legambiente Onlus – IT –

MTU Noortevahetuse Arengu Uhing ESTYES – EE –
The aim of this project is to link the Baltic and the Mediterranean Sea, North and South Europe, with a particular aim: namely to exchange experiences between communities who live in islands. The small island of Hiiuma in Estonia will come together with the large island of Sardinia in Italy. Seniors participating in this project will have the chance to contribute to the mutual discovery of such realities as part of a voluntary service programme for local communities. In Sardinia, six Estonian seniors will be hosted in the former miners' village of Montevecchio and involved in a project for the conservation of a long walking path leading to the sea. On Hiiuma, six Italian seniors will take part in this experience in the community of Kassari.


Seniors say - NON STOP
International Labour Contact Net – LT

Fundaţia social-culturală pentru democraţie “identitate, unitate, generozitate, acţiune” – RO –

For many years, we were separated by an iron curtain and we knew almost nothing about each other. Now we are free and are living in the united Europe, but old age and lack of self-confidence make seniors feel isolated and unwanted. While young people travel actively, the elderly remain shackled and do not have a positive urge to move. Knowledge of a new world starts from knowing its history, cultural heritage and traditions. This project is intrended to help seniors to understand that common values and common mores connect all people: it is only some traditions that are different. The seniors will help to protect the heritage in telling their grandchildren and neighbours what they have seen, how the cultural heritage is protected and treasured and that we need to acknowledge and preserve our identity, because the nation is like a tree which would wither without roots. The aim of the project aim is to encourage older people, involving them in the public activities, so as to promote and pass on the related traditions, mores and heritage. Project tasks: the aim of the project is easy to achieve through handicrafts, close cooperation and exchanges between ageing craftsmen, in organizing communal activities: textiles, picking of herbs and using them to colour textiles, traditional food preparation, respect for the environment and clearing.


Senior Volunteers as Cultural Ambassadors
Budapesti Művelődési Központ – HU –

Department of Continuing Education, Lancaster University – UK –
Senior volunteers from Hungary and the UK will be part of an exchange during which they will educate mainly senior volunteers in the host country about the social and cultural history of the sending country. The focus of the volunteer-led learning will be on food, social history and popular culture. A range of interactive learning methods, including the use of Virtual Learning Environments and audio-visual material, will ensure that the training is engaging and informative and that the senior volunteers’ cultural awareness and expression is developed using content that is both relevant and appealing. The volunteers will receive significant training using material developed from previous Grundtvig funded senior exchange projects beforehand and these materials will play a significant role in the development and evaluation of the project, primarily by keeping a diary of their trip and through a continuous process of evaluation. The Budapest Cultural Centre and the Department of Continuing Education at Lancaster University, UK, will each host and send four volunteers for a three-week period.


Involving extreme age groups as museum volunteers
Szépművészeti Múzeum – HU –

The Manchester Museum – UK –

The main aim of the project is to bolster the international exchange of museum volunteer experiences, focusing in particular on the inclusion of age groups at the two extremes (i.e. those under 25 – for which the Budapest programme is unique - and those over 55, for which the Manchester programme is unique) in both countries. All the participants will gain an insight into the partner institution’s volunteer programme from the induction training, through the follow-up of the volunteer activities, to the termination of the volunteer contract. The participants will also receive some mentoring help and the chance to volunteer actively in the host institution in the areas of visitor services, guiding, office administration, handling objects, etc. The participants’ detailed summaries (on specific issues such as selection process, training process and sessions, volunteer fields, community outreach and the embedding of volunteers in the institution’s hierarchy) would help later on with the implementation of new practices in the sending institution. The project’s planned timing would be as follows: preparatory period of the visits from August 2009 to January 2010. Both partner institutions plan to send and receive 6 volunteers (50+) for a period of three weeks from January 2010 - January 2011- evaluation of the visits January 2011 – May 2011.


Exchanging Arts, Cultures and Traditions
African Women, Arts, Culture & Development – UK –

Asociaţia PRO-XPERT Râmnicu Vâlcea – RO –
The E-ACT project aims to give disadvantaged African people in the 50+ age group an opportunity to re-create themselves as confident active citizens of this country. The E-ACT project provides practice based methods which will enable the volunteers to have hands-on experience. Volunteers will be mentored and supported in the planning and development of their cultural dialogue and cultural skills. During the project there will be a cultural exchange visit to Romania for them to experience the arts, crafts and traditions which they share with their Romanian counterparts. The exchange workshops will be practice-based to enable the volunteers explore each other’s methods of practice, designs, meanings and significance of the designs including costumes, pottery, basketry, food, dances and singing crafts. During the exchange visit, AWAD and Romanian volunteers will jointly organise a fashion show event in each partner country to celebrate their culture for the host country. All activities will be captured on video and in photographic formats, and collated into an exhibition panel, DVD training resource and website publications. All of these activities will culminate in a dissemination event for the general public and mainstream bodies where volunteers will profile their achievement, receive their certificate, and meet potential clients or purchasers of their cultural expertise or help develop their new ideas.



Skills for Life: International Events Volunteer Exchange

Birmingham City Council – UK –

SISU Idrottsutbildarna Vastergotland – SE –
The volunteer exchange is based around continuing participation in SPORT and valuing the contributions of more senior, and experienced, volunteers by providing them with an enriching international experience. On 11 October 2009, Birmingham hosted the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. International events put on in the city are only possible with the cooperation of dedicated volunteers. For the UK placement, Grundtvig volunteers would be based in Birmingham City Council’s Sport and Events department, working on preparations in the run up to the event. Being placed for three weeks would allow the volunteers to occupy more senior roles as this would allow time for training, knowledge building and awareness. Towards the end of their placement they will also be able to further develop their leadership skills by coordinating groups of short term volunteers working on the event. It is proposed that the team of UK volunteers who will volunteer in Sweden should partner the Swedish volunteers in Birmingham and work as a team. This will create an effective team collaboration which will provide a valuable opportunity that will benefit both the volunteers and organisations involved. The placement in Sweden will be of a similar format, volunteering for the Ulva Cup, Skovde, which is a huge football tournament for young teams. This year the Ulva Cup has 280 teams, so it requires many volunteers. The Ulva-Cup is organised by the local club Ulvakers IF, based in the town of Skovde.

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