Friday June 30th, 2017
We have yet again come to the point where summer is around the corner, and we have a quick moment to reflect on all the great things that happened since the last time you heard from us. Check out our news about international volunteering, UK volunteering and NCS.
Live, Learn, Experience
Volunteering has the possibility of developing young people in the skills, attributes and behaviours not necessarily developed through formal learning. It gives the young people the forum to address what they deem important, ranging from social problems to environmental protection and helping to rebuild a country after natural disasters. Finally, volunteering is a way to gain understanding and awareness of your surroundings and situations, both in the local community and further afield. Knowing that volunteering takes place in a range of contexts, clubs, schools, on an individual basis, or together as a group, we offer the possibility to everyone who want to embark on a journey that will strongly benefit them, the local community, and anyone wanting to volunteer abroad.
For our 2017 groups, their journey commenced last year. Since the first introduction, the groups are now packing their bags and are getting ready for a summer that will change them. Seeing our part in their journey, we hosted non-formal training sessions on intercultural awareness, open discussions on fears, aims and contributions to meet the need and expectations from the groups and understand their motivation, and run through numerous interactive sessions ensuring the group is ready. We are convinced, by having involved the group from the very start of their project, the young people going on our group volunteering programme are ready to take on leadership, and grow with the challenge.
There is an overwhelming correlation between volunteering and well-being, the knowledge that your contributions are making a change. For us, we aim to provide these opportunities for groups and individuals, for the volunteers to get involved, make a change, and start building and developing those social, behavioural and emotional skills that will be with the volunteers long after returning back home. Find out more how you can get your group onto the same path here.
And we’re off – the first project of the summer are underway
In mid-June, we welcomed the first volunteers of the summer season. Volunteers joined two early projects, the first in the Lake District – Manjushri 1 and the Green & Away project in rural Worcestershire. As always our volunteers are from all over the world and we love to be part of creating lasting connections and friendships on these two projects between volunteers from France, Germany, Turkey, Slovakia, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the UK.
The next two weeks will see many more projects starting including several long-running local projects with Moulsecoomb Primary School and Patchfest, both located in Brighton.
We’re down to the last couple of spaces on the UK summer projects, so anyone interested in getting that final space should apply quickly! We’ve also recruited many fantastic UK Volunteer Co-ordinators to help run the summer projects, but we’re always happy to hear from any potential co-ordinators, who could be interested in co-ordinating a UK project next summer.
On the volunteering team at Concordia, it’s not just the start of the summer projects that are keeping us busy. We’re also making a few staff changes; UK Programme Co-ordinator, Suzi Lamb is moving into the NCS team full-time from the start of July. Suzi’s excited to be taking on the role of NCS Delivery Manager and leaves the UK projects in good hands, as Francesco Bonini, current Overseas Programme Co-ordinator is stepping into that role. We’re also thrilled to welcome Fran’s replacement, Giuliana, who’s joining the team from July.
Grand openings and circus skills
A lot has happened over the last month at NCS Concordia. We welcomed a new member to our team, Suzi Lamb, who previously worked with Concordia as the UK Programme Volunteer Co-ordinator and is now the NCS Engagement & Delivery Manager.
This last month saw the grand unveiling of NCS artwork at Southwick train station. The artwork was completed by last year’s graduates who made three wonderful pieces all supporting and raising awareness for local charities in the Worthing and Adur area. With representatives from the charities, Adur’s executive council and of course some of the young artists themselves, the event really brought about the importance of NCS and how the Social Action week can make such a difference in the local community. The opening was followed by a much-appreciated reception by Shoreham Port.
As summer is already in full swing we have been busy getting ready for this year’s NCS Summer programme. Our most recent Keep Warm really put our NCS young people to the test learning some fun circus skills. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather and were joined by over 60 eager NCS-er’s. Each tried their hand at juggling, the Diablo and even walking on slack lines. Let’s hope this got them prepared for the adventures that will begin in less than a week’s time.