European Voluntary Service: the green light for young people’s futures

Did you know that this year Bristol is the European Green Capital? The Bristolian charity Change Agents UK is running a European Voluntary Service, (EVS), large scale event with the help of Erasmus+ funding. The project brings together young people from across Europe to volunteer on activities related to Bristol European Green Capital 2015. There are still opportunities to apply for European Voluntary Service funding later this year, so we take a look at this green example.  


What is European Voluntary Service?

If you’ve not heard of EVS before, it’s an EU programme that supports organisations such as Change Agents UK to help young people develop skills and experience through volunteering. Young people can take part in volunteering opportunities, lasting from two weeks to 12 months, experiencing other cultures and languages up-close, as well as getting a taster for the type of work they might like to do in the future.

The green light for young people...

Change Agents UK Large Scale Event, Green Capital EVS, targets unemployed or under-employed young people to improve their key competences and transferable skills. In the growing green sector, being aware of best practice and policy is crucial for becoming employable. During the project volunteers have the opportunity to work directly with local organisations, helping them to develop the skills they need for a career in the emerging green economy.

See how some of the participants are building their sustainable futures in this documentary video which was filmed and produced by partner Chouette Films '#BristolEVS – European Green Capital 2015.'


How can EVS benefit my organisation?

Change Agents UK believe volunteering is much more than a work experience opportunity. Participants leave the process feeling more confident in their abilities. They gain tangible skills and knowledge which they feel can give them the edge in a competitive job market. Participants often feel more open to the possibility of working and traveling abroad, make new friendships, experience new cultures and learn a language. Arthur Shearlaw, from the organisation, explains:

“A European mobility placement is a great way to gain new skills, become inspired and boost your employment prospects. It's also a fantastic way to see new places, meet new people and build a network of like-minded people. Through Erasmus+ we hope to support our work in tackling youth unemployment and underemployment, encouraging mobility, developing skills and knowledge through placements and partnerships and enhancing cultural understanding and active citizenship throughout Europe,” Arthur Shearlaw, Change Agents UK. 

If you are an organisation interested in running an EVS activity, there’s still time to apply for funding this year! The deadline is 1 October 2015.

You can find full details on our apply for funding pages



Great initiative!

This is a great campaign! It is so important to involve the youth in important social action. When I was first looking for work experience I wanted to be inspired by work and found that through Inspired People ( I could find a truly worthwhile step into a career in the third sector. Now i work for Greenpeace, and I look forward to more initiatives like this one to motivate young people to do amazing things.

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