26 June 3 July 2021

The Big Volunteer Week is back! Come volunteer with us!

All week long, we will be organising different volunteering opportunities around Brussels in the respect of the sanitary measures in place. Whether you are coming for the whole week or just a day, this is your opportunity to make a difference in your city and to help us empower local organisations!

We offer many different ways of serving the city, such as practical projects, socialising opportunities, preparing and distributing food, or picking up trash in Brussels’ parks & streets! Together, let’s spread love, compassion and hope. Together let’s serve now!

You are unable to participate? You can still also support the Big Volunteer Week financially. We dedicate to this event a considerable amount of our budget, so any financial contribution will be put to good use!

New: For insurance reasons, to participate to the Big Volunteer Week, you must be 18 of age by the time of the project, or be accompanied by an adult (please check details in the FAQ below). Or, if you are 16-18 you can attend an info session to participate.

Register on our app ServeNow

This year, unlike previous years, the registrations will happen via our mobile app ServeNow. We will be adding projects on a regular base to it so don’t forget to check.

If you don’t have it yet, download our app and create your account.
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Projects*

You can register to participate through on our app ServeNow.

*This list is updated regularly

Cleaning at Nativitas' social restaurant

Nativitas, located in the Marolles neighbourhood is a day centre where disadvantaged people can amongst other things have access to an affordable meal. Volunteers are needed to support Nativitas with their annual big clean up of the restaurant, which includes the cleaning of things like cupboards, fridges and so on. The team is needed on Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday from 10:00 to 16:30 in the centre, to help Nativitas continue the amazing work they do.

Cleaning and maintainance at Petites Soeurs des Pauvres

Petites Soeurs des Pauvres is an order of nuns who enable 100 elderly people to live in their residence in the Marolles neighbourhood. This inspiring order of nuns provides housing, meals, organise craft activities and runs occupational therapy for the elderly in need and need your help with some maintenance work, cleaning and tidying up. You can help complete these various tasks on Tuesday and/or Wednesday  between 09:00 and 13:00. Please note, in order to volunteer on this project you need to be able to speak French.

Socialising with the residents at Petites Soeurs des Pauvres

Petites Soeurs des Pauvres is an order of nuns who enable 100 elderly people to live in their residence in the Marolles neighbourhood. This inspiring order of nuns provides housing, meals, organise craft activities and runs occupational therapy for the elderly in need. This social project is aimed at providing some social contact for the residents, through playing games such as petanque and lending a friendly ear to chat. Motivated and social volunteers will meet at the centre on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday starting at 14:00. This is an amazing opportunity to interact with people and make a big difference to their day by just talking to them! Please note, in order to volunteer on this project you need to be able to speak French.

LEUVEN - Gardening for elderly neighbours

This project is a great opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of some elderly neighbours. Volunteers will meet on Tuesday at 15:30 in Heverlee, near the Koninklijke Hockey Club Leuven, to do some gardening for these neighbours who are in need of a helping hand. Please note, this project is weather dependent and in case of bad weather, the project will be rescheduled. The exact address will be provided closer to the date.

LEUVEN - Help MAAKbar move to a new location

MAAKbar, which is a civil movement to fix broken goods through initiatives such as repaircafés, is looking for volunteers on Saturday (26/06) at 13:00 to help organise and transport their materials to a new location. MAAKbar is a great initiative to reduce waste and your help will allow them to continue the great work they do!

VAALBEEk - Help La Foresta relocate

La Foresta, a monastery in Vaalbeek, urgently needs help completing their move to a new location. Volunteers will meet on Saturday (26/06) at 11:00 to assist with the relocation by moving and sorting through furniture and other goods which will then be taken to a refugee centre in Brussels. La Foresta needs your help to complete this relocation, so do not hesitate to sign up!

Cooking, portioning and cleaning at the Community Kitchen

The Community Kitchen is a project, based in Louise, that prepares healthy, home-cooked meals for vulnerable people across Brussels. The team needs help cooking, portioning out the prepared meals so that they can be handed out, and also need help cleaning the kitchen. Volunteers will meet at Holy Trinity Brussels on Sunday (27/06), Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and/or Saturday (03/07) to help the Community Kitchen continue the amazing work they do!

Food preparation at La Porte d'Ulysse for refugees and transmigrants

La Porte d’Ulysse is a shelter for homeless refugees and transmigrants managed by the BXL refugees (La Platforme Citoyenne de Soutien aux Réfugiés). Volunteers are needed to help prepare breakfast for the centre on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday between 07:30 and 12:00. As a volunteer your help is extremely valuable as the centre is almost entirely managed by volunteers!

Make and distribute sandwiches in the streets of Brussels

The sandwich project is a great opportunity to prepare food for distribution and also distribute the prepared food to people on the streets around Brussels. This is a great out reach project where you can help people and get to talk to the people you meet. Volunteers will meet at Holy Trinity Brussels on Monday, Tuesday and/or Thursday at 11:00 to 15:30 to start making the sandwiches and lunch bags before heading out onto the streets to hand out the food you prepared!

Distribute breakfast to the homeless around Brussels

Solidarity Breakfast is a project aimed at providing some comfort to the less fortunate by offering hot drinks, some food and a friendly chat. Volunteers meet at Quai des Péniches on Monday and/or Tuesday from 07:30 to 09:00, during which they walk around the streets of Brussels, making it an ideal project for those who need to head to work for regular office hours.

Distribute lunch for refugees at the Red Cross Centre PSA

Everyday, hundreds of people, including refugees, transmigrants and homeless people, come to the Red Cross Centre PSA, near Tours & Taxi for a hot meal and drink. Volunteers are needed to assist with the lunch distribution of food, hot drinks and snacks on Monday, Tuesday and/or Wednesday from 11:00 to 14:00. Join our team and help us bring comfort and hope to our friends from across the globe who are looking for a place to call home.

Gardening at Parc Parmentier

Parc Parmentier, located near the Woluwe Tram Museum, is a park dedicated to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds from across Brussels who use the space for sport, educational and social activities. Volunteers are needed to help with the maintenance of this green space by assisting with various gardening tasks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 09:15 to 12:30 so that young people from across Brussels have access to a green space to develop their skills.

NB. Volunteering takes place outside so please wear shoes suitable for mud and rain! Gardening gloves and waterproofs are provided.

Maintenance work at A Place To Live

A Place To Live, which is a welfare organisation that works with vulnerable mothers, children and young people, is looking for volunteers to help with their renovations in their centre in Laeken. Volunteers will meet at 13:00 on Thursday and/or Friday to do some work in the garden and help move items so that the renovations can take place. A Place To Live is an organisation doing crucial work, and need your help to continue the amazing work they do!

Practical Information

Can I be a Project Leader?

Yes! We organise trainings for project leaders a few times every year. You can check our website to look for the upcoming training session.

Do we need to wear a Serve the City shirt on projects?

We would love it if you do however, it is not essential.

How can I volunteer?

You can join our Weekly Serving Opportunities, One-on-One projects, Monthly Big Volunteer Days or the Big Volunteer Week.

For our Weekly Serving Opportunities, we invite you to come to one of our information sessions where you will get to know us better and ask us questions about projects that interest you. After the session, you will receive a list with all the projects and the contacts of the respective project leaders. You can then send an email to the project leader to ask about further details. For our Monthly Events and the Big Volunteer Week, the registration is online a few weeks before the event.

If I sign up for the Big Volunteer Week, do I have to join every day?

No, you don’t have to. You can choose the day(s) that suit(s) you best.

Is there an Age Policy regarding volunteering with Serve the City?

If you are under 18 years of age you will need to be accompanied by an adult/guardian to participate in Serve the City projects.

  • Parents/legal guardians can come with their children (but are fully responsible of their care)
  • In the case the parents/legal guardians cannot accompany their children, up to 2 teenagers of 15 of age (or more) can be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years old with the written authorisation of the legal guardians.
What if I don’t have any volunteering experience?

Here at Serve The City, we welcome first-time volunteers, as there is no better time to start than right now.

What is the Big Volunteer Week?

Big Volunteer Week is a week of serving projects taking place all around Brussels. Hundreds of volunteers from all around the world will join us to serve people in need.

We will organise serving opportunities allowing volunteers to serve alongside local associations who are assisting the needs of:

  • Homeless
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Elderly
  • Disabled
  • Children in need
  • Victims of abuse

 

When is the Big Volunteer Week taking place?

The Big Volunteer Week typically takes place each year towards the end of June or the beginning of July. Exact dates are here.

Who can participate to the Big Volunteer Week?

Individuals, school groups, scout groups, churches, companies, local and visiting volunteers – everyone who is looking for an opportunity to help someone in need, meet new people and make new friends. However, please note that you may not be assigned to the same project as your colleague if you come as part of a company / group. If this is a requirement, please have a look at our Corporate Volunteering page.

What is Big Volunteer Week?

The Serve the City movement originated in Brussels as a single week of volunteering back in 2005. Today, we are active in more than 100 cities spread around the world!

This year, we will organise our 16th annual Big Volunteer Week!! Between the 26th of June and the 3rd of July, volunteers from all around the world will join us in Brussels to help people in need. We will organise volunteering projects all week long to serve alongside local associations who are assisting the needs of:

  • Homeless
  • Asylum Seekers and migrants
  • Elderly
  • Disabled
  • Children in need
  • Victims of abuse

The types of project we have

Social

Games, outings, walks, and any other activities that connect people, break down barriers, and facilitate friendship.

Practical

Painting, cleaning, gardening, sorting out clothes, simple construction projects, and other hands-on tasks that help our social-profit partners be at their best.

Food Outreach

Preparing and serving food to the hungry and hurting.

Sustainable Projects

Contributing to make our city greener by cleaning up our streets and parcs.

Practical Information

Schedule:

  • Saturday 29 June 13:00-20:00 (Registration starts at 13:00)
    Registration Opening Day + Party | STC Introduction | Street Kindness | Food + Drinks
  • Monday-Friday 1 July » 5 July 11:30-167:00 (Registration starts at 11:30)
    Registration + Briefing | Serving projects | Debriefing
  • Friday 5 July 16:30
    Community Party | Food + Drink | Games + Sports | Concerts
    Address to be confirmed

Meeting Points

30th June: Bozar Teraken Rooms, Rue Ravenstein 23

2-6th July: Les Salles Erreras, Rue Royale 10, 1000 Bruxelles

7th July: La Ferme du Parc Maximilien – Quai du batelage no 2 1000 Brussels
Can I be a Project Leader?

Yes! We organise trainings for project leaders a few times every year. You can check our website to look for the upcoming training session.

Do we need to wear a Serve the City shirt on projects?

We would love it if you do however, it is not essential.

How can I volunteer?

You can join our Weekly Serving Opportunities, One-on-One projects, Monthly Big Volunteer Days or the Big Volunteer Week.

For our Weekly Serving Opportunities, we invite you to come to one of our information sessions where you will get to know us better and ask us questions about projects that interest you. After the session, you will receive a list with all the projects and the contacts of the respective project leaders. You can then send an email to the project leader to ask about further details. For our Monthly Events and the Big Volunteer Week, the registration is online a few weeks before the event.

If I sign up for the Big Volunteer Week, do I have to join every day?

No, you don’t have to. You can choose the day(s) that suit(s) you best.

Is there an Age Policy regarding volunteering with Serve the City?

If you are under 18 years of age you will need to be accompanied by an adult/guardian to participate in Serve the City projects.

  • Parents/legal guardians can come with their children (but are fully responsible of their care)
  • In the case the parents/legal guardians cannot accompany their children, up to 2 teenagers of 15 of age (or more) can be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years old with the written authorisation of the legal guardians.
What if I don’t have any volunteering experience?

Here at Serve The City, we welcome first-time volunteers, as there is no better time to start than right now.

What is the Big Volunteer Week?

Big Volunteer Week is a week of serving projects taking place all around Brussels. Hundreds of volunteers from all around the world will join us to serve people in need.

We will organise serving opportunities allowing volunteers to serve alongside local associations who are assisting the needs of:

  • Homeless
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Elderly
  • Disabled
  • Children in need
  • Victims of abuse

 

When is the Big Volunteer Week taking place?

The Big Volunteer Week typically takes place each year towards the end of June or the beginning of July. Exact dates are here.

Who can participate to the Big Volunteer Week?

Individuals, school groups, scout groups, churches, companies, local and visiting volunteers – everyone who is looking for an opportunity to help someone in need, meet new people and make new friends. However, please note that you may not be assigned to the same project as your colleague if you come as part of a company / group. If this is a requirement, please have a look at our Corporate Volunteering page.

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