Get Connected, Get Involved, Volunteer!

Are you looking to connect with your community, and take action on issues close to your heart?

Would you like to be active and meet new people?

Do you have a bit of spare time and would you like to make a difference in other peoples’ lives?

 

Take part in our “Get Connected” project. You will gain experience of volunteering in your community and you will be able to share your journey with others.

Anybody over the age of 18 who lives in the Brussels area and who is new to volunteering.

  • Be active and get involved in your neighbourhood
  • Meet new people and broaden your horizons
  • Gain new skills and valuable work experience
  • Participate in free professional Digital Media Training that will equip you with some tools and ideas to help you creatively document your volunteering journey
  • Give a helping hand to others
  • Inspire others
  • Commit to volunteer in a role of your choice for a minimum of 30 hours between May – September 2018
  • Complete a survey before and after you take up volunteering to record the impact of this volunteering experience on your values
  • Document your personal volunteering journey and experience (i.e. by using a diary, blog, photos, videos, cartoon or other creative formats)
  • Attend two “conversation salon” events (March and October 2018) to discuss issues important to you and your community and to find out more about the project
  • Keep in touch with us throughout the project
  • We will support you with finding a suitable volunteering opportunity that matches your interest, skills and availability
  • Free professional Digital Media Training
  • We will regularly check in with you and give support with any issues arising
  • We will select a number of volunteer journeys for an exhibition that will travel around Europe – an amazing chance to share your experience with a big audience and to inspire others to take up volunteering
  • The project kicked-off in March with two introduction event, which included the first “conversation salon”.
  • We will then have a chat with everybody to help you find a volunteering opportunity that is a good match for you.
  • You will start volunteering and we ask that you will have completed at least 30 hours of volunteering by September.
  • We ask that you participate in a survey before and after your volunteering experience.
  • You will be invited to attend the optional digital media training.
  • We will be running another “conversation salon” in September or October this year.
  • The roadshow that exhibits selected project participants volunteering “journeys” will be launched in Dublin at the start of December.

If you have any questions, please contact Charles Traylen at getconnected@servethecity.be or call 02 734 35 02.

With this project, Serve the City Brussels wants to find out more about the impact volunteering can have on people’s attitudes and shared values in 2018 across four European countries: Ireland, Belgium, Croatia and Scotland.

More information about the project and its background

Get Connected – Volunteering and Shared Values

  • European values – peace, friendship, freedom, justice, opportunity, cooperation – are the values that we are committed to advancing in Ireland, on the island of Ireland, within our European family, and in our relations with the wider world.

    An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. European Parliament, Strasbourg, 17 January 2018

Dublin City Volunteer Centre Ireland, in partnership with Serve the City Brussels, was awarded a major project grant by the European Commission within the framework of the Europe for Citizens Programme.

The project, titled “Get Connected – Volunteering and Shared Values” will run until April 2019 and involves four partner organisations from four European countries:

Our daily interactions with people around us can have a lasting effect on who we are, how we see the world and what we hold dear. Volunteering can play a big part in how people choose to spend their time, who they engage with and what issues they decide to act upon, which in turn will shape their attitudes, values and connections – with other people as well as with their direct or wider community.

Volunteering offers an opportunity to connect on many levels by:

  • Getting involved with issues close to your heart
  • Participating in the activities of your community
  • Taking ownership of what’s going on in your community
  • Making a difference in other people’s lives
  • Lending a helping hand
  • Showing solidarity and support for people less fortunate than yourself
  • Crossing the road – meet people in your community, get involved with groups you have never even knew existed, talk to someone that shares your passion – or even someone who has a completely different opinion
  • Re-connecting with an interest of yours, something that’s important to you and forms a part of your identity
  • Learning about other people and their lives, cultures, challenges and dreams

The project sets out to take a closer look at what impact volunteering can have on people and their feeling of connectedness with their local communities, their attitudes and their general well-being. We will raise questions like:

  • Do people feel more connected to their local community through volunteering?
  • Does it encourage them to become more active citizens and get involved in issues that matter to them and those around them?
  • Can volunteering lead to more self-fulfilment and encourage solidarity with others at the same time?
  • And, if volunteering can have an impact in relation to one’s own identity and their community’s shared values, how does this compare across the four European countries which, while similar in population size, might have quite different set ups in terms of infrastructure and cultural approaches when it comes to volunteering?

With this project, we are inviting people to “Get Connected” with their community, people around them and their own identity through volunteering.

Participants will be invited to participate in conversations about what’s going on in their community and what’s important to them, to get involved in volunteering and to share their personal volunteering experience to inspire others.

The project will have a number of components and will support people to embark on their personal volunteering journeys:

  • Conversation Salons in each partner country
  • Digital Media Workshop in each partner country (to equip people with the ability to document their journeys and tell their volunteering stories)
  • Support to engage in volunteering activity for each participant
  • A European Roadshow to display and share the participant’s experiences at the end of the project

“Volunteering as a Tool to Strengthen EU Common Values” (Working title: “Get Connect – Volunteering and Shared Values”) is a project that has European citizenship at its core: values make up a fundamental part of citizens’ identity. Identity in turn is shaped through shared geographical or common interests or beliefs; and is expressed on an individual basis – as a local citizen – or through being part of a wider group. This Project provides the conditions for citizens to participate both at a local and Union level. Citizens are involved at the design stage and throughout the project, via their voluntary participation in the local events and volunteering; they are also fully part of a wider European project through the shared learnings, research results and feedback collation, at each project phase, culminating in the European roadshow. The partner countries and diversity of the participants involved, at a local level, further enhance the opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement through the mechanism of volunteering.

Dublin City Volunteer Centre, Serve the City Brussels, Volonterski Centar Osijek and Volunteer Scotland submitted a joint grant application for this project to the Europe for Citizens Programme in March 2017. The project scored 12th place out of 361 submitted proposals and was therefore selected for funding as one out of 25 projects across the EU. The incubation phase of the project started on 1st November 2017 and the project will be completed by April 2019.

Volunteers 

This project is aimed at people over the age of 18 who live in the Brussels area and who are new to volunteering.

Volunteer Involving Organisations 

If you would like find out more about how you could host some volunteers as part of this project, please contact the Project Coordinator, Charles Traylen, at getconnected@servethecity.be or on 02 734 35 02.

This project (official title: “Volunteering as a Tool to Strengthen EU Common Values”) has been funded with support from the European Commission.

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