Funding available for social action projects with the European Solidarity Corps

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

The key aim to any Corps project is to address important societal challenges. 

Over 12 million euro has been allocated to the European Solidarity Corps in 2020 for the UK, with almost 2 million euro allocated for in-country activities involving UK residents. The next deadline to apply is 1 October 2020 (11 am, UK time).

Male and female volunteer on beach picking up litter smiling

Different funding types

European Solidarity Corps funding is separated into three project types:

Volunteering Projects 

Organisations can apply for funding to involve young people aged 18-30 as volunteers (individually or in teams) in their daily work activities that address important societal challenges. 

In turn, organisations will be helping their young volunteers to acquire informal and non-formal learning experiences and key competences for their personal, educational, civic and professional development. 

Solidarity Projects

Solidarity Projects are youth-led activities, where informal groups of at least five young people can get funding to run a project in their local community in the UK. A project can last between two and 12 months with the aim to express solidarity by taking responsibility and bringing positive change in their local area. Female volunteers packing food into boxes for charities smiling and talking

It can be undertaken part-time, around other commitments on weekends or during holidays. Organisations can also apply on behalf of young people. This action has elements similar to Youth Initiatives funding from the predecessor programme ‘Youth in Action’.

Traineeships and Jobs Projects

This funding allows a young person to join an organisation for work practice or employment to help them in their social action work. These placements can last from two months to one year (depending on the activity) and can take place in the UK or in elsewhere in Europe. 

Therefore, if you have a trainee or job vacancy to fill, or would like to keep on an existing volunteer, you can get some funding through the European Solidarity Corps programme to help with management costs and mentoring support.

Benefits of applying for European Solidarity Corps funding

The benefits of applying for funding under the European Solidarity Corps includes:

  • Project start dates can be selected between 1 January 2021 and 31 May 2021, when coronavirus restrictions may be lifted, so you can have volunteers ready to boost your organisation’s work in 2021;
  • both in-country and/or cross-border activities can take place, so you can apply for volunteers or trainees who already live in the UK; and
  • the funding includes several budgets to help cover the majority of costs, such as project management costs.

Is your organisation eligible to apply?

The European Solidarity Corps is open to any public or private entity in a participating or partner country, non-profit or profit-making. If your organisation activities in the UK address important societal challenges to the benefit of a community or society as a whole, you should think about applying. 

The programme is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your provision, widen your impact and bring fresh perspectives to your organisation.

Your next steps

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 submit high quality funding applications.

Find out more about volunteering activities under the European Solidarity Corps and how it compares to the European Voluntary Service.