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?

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:

“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.

Between November 2017 and April 2019 we invited people to “Get Connected” with their community, people around them and their own identity through volunteering.

Participants where 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 had a number of components supporting people during their personal volunteering journeys:

  • A number of Conversation Salons in each partner country
  • A number of Digital Media Workshop in each partner country (to equip people with the ability to document their journeys and tell their volunteering stories)
  • Support by the volunteer organisations to enable volunteering activity for each participant
  • Two surveys to understand the impact of volunteering on European values.
  • A European Roadshow to display and share the participant’s experiences at the end of the project

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?

We asked participants to attend two conversation salons, one digital media training and take part in 30 hours of volunteering over a six month period.

More Information about this Project

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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