DCVC awarded funding for European Project on Volunteering and Values

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Dublin City Volunteer Centre is delighted to announce that it has been granted funding for a major project that will assess how volunteering can strengthen common values across local communities and the European Union.

The project, titled “Volunteering as a Tool to Strengthen EU Common Values”, will run until April 2019 and involves four partner organisations from four European countries: Dublin City Volunteer Centre (Ireland), Serve the City Brussels (Belgium), Volonterski Centar Osijek (Croatia) and Volunteer Scotland (Scotland).

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, T.D., recently spoke about the importance of shared values during a speech on the future of Europe at the European Parliament:

“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.

He highlighted the need to look at the bonds that unite rather than divide us and to cherish what we, as European citizens, have in common together to overcome the recent growth of hatred, fear and racism. He emphasized the importance of citizens’ engagement and participation in order for them to be at the centre of local, national and European decision making.

These values and the idea of active citizenship, people engaging in shaping what’s happening around them, are at the core of this project. Volunteering has long been considered an extremely powerful tool for people to connect with their community, to take action on issues that matter to them, and to get involved on a local, national or European level. Volunteering therefore can have a profound impact people’s beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and values.

Edwina Dewart, Manager of Dublin City Volunteer Centre, said:

“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.”

The project will therefore invite people to “Get Connected” and take up volunteering in their community. They will also participate in a number of conversations salons, a digital media workshop that will equip them with tools to effectively tell the story about their volunteering experiences, and a survey comparing the impact volunteering has on these people across the four countries. The volunteer journeys will be documented and will travel around Europe in a roadshow to inspire others at the end of the project, and will link in with findings from research on the infrastructure of volunteering in the four countries.

The total funding awarded for the project is 127,500 EUR, which will be split across the four partner organisations. Dublin City Volunteer Centre is the lead partner and will be coordinating the project activities from Dublin.

“We are really pleased to be running this project because we know that volunteering has a real impact on peoples’ lives. The 2016 National Survey on Volunteering, conducted by Volunteer Ireland, shows that 65% of volunteers across Ireland said that their sense of belonging to a community has increased, while 81% stated their feeling of making a useful contribution to the community increased”, said Edwina Dewart.

Click here if you would like to get involved.

If you would like to find out more about how your organisation might host volunteers, please contact the Project Coordinator Franziska Fehr at franziska@volunteerdublincity.ie .

For more information on the project, please visit our project page.

 

Photo: Samantha McCaffrey and Gillian McFeeley, two volunteers with Dublin City Volunteer Centre, during a community volunteering event on Aungier Street. Dublin, 2016. 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.