European Solidarity Corps funding is available for volunteering projects in Scotland

Posted by Christie McAlpine on 8th June 2020

Over €12 million euros has been allocated to the European Solidarity Corps in 2020 for the UK, with almost €2 million allocated for in-country activities. The next deadline to apply is 1 October 2020.

The European Solidarity Corps, a programme run by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, is all about helping organisations and young people to take social action for the benefit of communities across Europe.

Organisations can apply for funding to involve young people aged 18 to 30 years old as volunteers in activities that address important societal issues. In turn, organisations will be helping their young volunteers to acquire useful experiences and competences for their personal, educational, civic and professional development.

The European Solidarity Corps UK team will be providing a number of support activities over the next few months running up to the 1 October 2020 deadline, to help organisations to find out more about the programme and to submit high quality applications for funding.

What are European Solidarity Corps Volunteering Projects?

Volunteering Projects allow organisations to widen their impact by hosting volunteers or sending volunteers abroad. Recruiting volunteers is made simple: the European Solidarity Corps has a ready-made system, called PASS, where you can find over 230,000 young people across Europe who have registered to find opportunities with organisations.

European Solidarity Corps projects provide the flexibility to meet the needs of your organisation to help you plan for the future. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • project start dates can be selected between 1 January 2021 and 31 May 2021, when COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted, so you can have volunteers ready to boost your organisation’s work in 2021;
  • both in-country volunteers and/or cross-border volunteers can take part in your project, so you could apply for volunteers who already reside in the UK;
  • The Corps Portal for participants has almost 230,000 young people registered from all across Europe, who want to be involved in the Corps. Here you will be able to find the skills you need in a pool of socially minded young people with varied qualifications, who can contribute to the future of your business or organisation;
  • projects can last from 3 to 24 months, so are flexible to your organisation’s needs;
  • activities for volunteers can last between two weeks to 12 months; and
  • individual volunteer placements or volunteering team activities: participants can volunteer individually or in a group of 10-40 participants from two countries.
  • The funding includes several budgets to help cover majority costs, such as project management costs.

Providing a range of volunteering activities for social action can enhance your organisation’s provision and Community Development Plans.

Esther Hersch, Office Manager at Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) in Scotland highlights positive impacts from involving volunteers:

“Through their creativity, different opinions and experiences, they help the whole organisation to think outside the box. Their work effort allows us to move the project forward. At the same time, all participants have been a great addition to the Findhorn Foundation Community through their community and social engagement during their year with GEN and in Findhorn”.

For young people, it can improve life chances and employment prospects through informal learning, personal development and active citizenship. This is expressed by volunteer Carolin Waldmann, a 19-year-old from Germany, who undertook a placement in the ecovillage with two other European Solidarity Corps participants.

“It is a unique opportunity for me to work with an international NGO without any professional background. It really feels like ‘learning by doing’, which catalyses my learning journey”.

To read more about our beneficiaries and their projects, why not look at our Stories page?

Find out more

Please visit our website to find out more at https://www.eusolidaritycorps.org.uk/.

You can also watch our video which provides an overview of Volunteering Projects in under five minutes here.  

If you have any queries about the Programme, please email the European Solidarity Corps team at eusolidaritycorps@ecorys.com and we will be happy to help.

We will be providing more support for applicants through interactive virtual events and one to one support calls, so please follow us on our social media sites and register to receive our monthly e-newsletter to keep up to date.

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