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 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:
What is the project about?
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
What questions are we asking?
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?
What will we be doing?
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.
How can I get involved?
This project is aimed at people over the age of 18 who live in the Dublin City 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, Franzi Fehr, at email@example.com or on 01 473 4782.
Here are some of the blog posts:
- “Volunteering can create a chain reaction of kindness” (March 2018)
- “National Volunteering Week – Connect with your community!” (May 2018)
More Information about this Project
- The Europe for Citizen Programme
- Europe for Citizens/ Ireland
- Speech by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, 17 January 2018
This project (official title: “Volunteering as a Tool to Strengthen EU Common Values”) has been funded with support from the European Commission.