Thursday December 17th, 2015
2015 is coming to an end and what a year it has been! NCS has never been bigger, hundreds of volunteers have joined our partners overseas, and in return we hosted international volunteers on 16 successful UK projects. Read all about it below and check out how you can get involved with us both in the UK and overseas.
We at Concordia Volunteers want to wish you a very happy holiday season and are looking forward to seeing you again in the new year!
Fiona, Aisha, Francesco, Hannah, Karen & Victor
Looking back at 2015
2015 has been exciting for our international volunteering programme and first of all we would like to thank all the amazing volunteers that joined our programmes this year. A total of 170 motivated volunteers left the UK to join an international volunteer project this summer! Thank you so much for contributing to our international volunteer movement from all of us at Concordia! Within these volunteers we have those who went on individual projects on our East West and North South programmes, as well as those going on the Group Volunteering programme, which has grown from 2 groups sent in 2014 to 6 groups in 2015 going to destinations such as Greece, Estonia, Korea, India and Vietnam. If you want to have a look at what these groups were involved in, check this video from our group in Korea and this blog from our group in Greece!
We would like to thank Esher College in London, Girl Guiding Wales and Girl Guiding LASER for their brilliant cooperation in organising these groups, who came back to us full of enthusiasm and amazing experiences to tell.
We also would like to thank all those that sent us their pictures for our photo competition this year, which has been won by Jack Williamson with a picture of his team of international volunteers on an East West project in Portugal. Have look at all pictures entered in the competition here.
Finally a big thank you to all the volunteers who took part this year in our EVS programme, which is a 6-12 month programme funded by the EU to volunteer in Europe. We received many nice stories and articles for our blog that you can read here.
Now we are starting preparing for 2016 and look forward to more exciting projects next year!
INSPIRING WORK AND LEADING ROLES
The UK programme is thriving with exciting ideas buzzing round about next year while we still have the stories and thanks echoing in from the summer. As we can see in the photo the high spirits of the volunteers at Oak Grove College during their two week project. This month is all about looking forward, so as we extend our thanks outwards, we are also getting into the real detail of new projects for next year, building in global learning ideas into our current projects and recruiting for our Group Coordinating training in March. If you are interested in expanding your experience, learning new skills and facilitating a fun project then contact us for a coordinator’s pack.
Similarly now is your time to request an inter-cultural volunteer group to help with your charity or project next summer if you would like to host a project with Concordia. Finally, if you missed the shrieks of delight coming from Concordia, we can tell you we’ve launched our long-term volunteer programme offering 8-12 month placements.
Volunteering in the U.K is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in British culture in a supportive environment enabling you to get involved in local volunteer work. This year we had six experienced volunteers take up their roles with Concordia’s NCS programme coming from Spain, Thailand, Holland, Czech Republic and Italy. They had the opportunity to work with smaller groups within the 240 young people in our inspirational programme of community action and leadership. We are recruiting now for next year so please contact us for an application pack.
Our summer programme will be out in the spring for short term projects, as we draw together our plans and ideas for creating a really spectacular year. It is quite amazing how much a group of dedicated volunteers can achieve in a few weeks and, in addition, it is an important way to promote peace and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. It goes a long way to achieving our goals of promoting intercultural learning within the context of volunteering.
NCS GRADUATES REACH RECORD NUMBERS
As 2015 draws to a close, Concordia would like to celebrate the 240 young people who graduated from the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, across West Sussex. We’re honoured to have had the chance to work with incredibly inspiring young people, who overcame their fears, developed skills for life and committed 30 hours of their time, voluntarily to make a difference in their local communities. So here’s to you, NCS Graduates of 2015!
In case you’re not already aware, NCS is a publicly funded youth programme running across the country, for all young people aged 16 and 17 years. NCS provides young people with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build new skills, gain confidence, and mix with others from different walks of life. Click here to read more about the NCS programme and how you can get involved.
During week one of the programme, young people stayed at an outdoor activity centre on the Isle of Wight where young people took part in outward bound activities whilst overcoming fears and developing their teamwork and leadership skills. During week two, they stayed at Brighton University, completed various skills-building workshops whilst hearing from local community organisations, contributing to their employability and life skills.
In the final part of the programme, they worked together to plan and implement a team challenge in their local community. Young people delivered at least 30 voluntary hours each across their local area, executing the project over the final week of the programme. This resulted in young people giving more than 10,000 voluntary hours to make a difference in their local communities- a fantastic result!
Finally, we’d like to say big thank you to our partner organisations who have supported the NCS programme during 2015- without you we would not have achieved such a successful and inspirational NCS programme. We cannot thank you enough and we look forward to working with you again in the future.