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Friday May 6th, 2016


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Dear Friends,

May is the month when we are doing most of our visits to the summer project sites.  In this newsletter, you  can read about the pre-visit for our group volunteering team that’s going to Iceland & the whereabouts of our UK Co-ordinator Suzi together with a spotlight on Manjushri, one of our projects in the lake district. To finish this months newsletter off, we have a great opportunity for all our NCS graduates who want to continue their journey with us this summer. 

Fiona, Suzi, Francesco, Hannah, Karen, Maxime & Victor



Safety first, Leisure second 

The title might be a bit misleading, but it does suit the need when we are referring to the group volunteering programme and one of the most important steps of the programme, the Health & Safety visit.

For our Facebook & Twitter followers, you might have seen a few photos of glaciers, waterfalls and beautiful views lately. Starting off in the far east of Iceland in the tiny village of Stöðvarfjörður, Fiona & Victor visited the village soon to be the base for one of our groups this summer. Here they will be involved in environmental volunteering and build a Walipini, a greenhouse with its roots in South America. This will be of great use for the village during the cold months. Due to Icelands location, a lot marine debris washes up on the islands coast. To help the marine life and surrounding nature, the group will also be cleaning the coastline.

Volunteering also involves getting to know the local culture and exploring the nature you have around you. After finishing the volunteer work, the group will go on a two day trip along the south coast of Iceland visiting the iceberg lagoon, viewing glaciers, getting up close to waterfalls and finishing off with the golden circle of Iceland before returning to Reykjavik where another local group of Icelandic teenagers are ready to show them the city.

The group volunteering programme is enabling colleges, teams and groups from the age of 14 to go overseas within and outside of Europe on a tailor made programme. We work with the group through the whole process; from choosing the country, planning the project and ensuring that the group have an unforgettable time together with us. If you want to have more information, send us an e-mail with your enquiry.

Every year Concordia offers a series of preparation days for all volunteers interested in joining an international volunteer project in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Find out more information and book here

Would you like to volunteer for 6-12 months in Europe and all fully funded? We currently have some last minute EVS projects in Germany, Czech Republic and Romania urgently looking for volunteers to start in September 2016. Read here for more information  and if you are interested in applying please contact us ASAP via e-mail.



Local visits, Cultural Exchange

The UK team haven’t been quite as far afield as Iceland in the last month, but we have also been out and about visiting some of the projects we’re running in the UK this summer.

Volunteer Co-ordinator, Suzi, enjoyed meeting three of our hosts at Oak Grove College, Moulsecoomb Primary School and Patchfest in the last few weeks. These visits are important for updating the information given to the volunteers, carrying out or updating risk assessments as well as maintaining the strong relationships we have with the staff at our partner projects.

Suzi explained “It was great to see the work that volunteers have accomplished in previous years at the projects as well as discussing the plans for this summer. At both Oak Grove and Moulsecoomb, the outside areas where the volunteers often work, are incredible, with attractive landscaped areas, sensory zones and even an Iron Age Round House and a totem pole!

Places are filling up fast on our UK short-term summer programme, with some projects now already full. So if you are interested in joining us please submit your applications or get in touch soon. As usual, we have received applications from all over the world, and currently we have volunteers joining us from 20 different countries! This cultural exchange is at the core of Concordia’s beliefs that are summarised here in our guiding principles:

  • Co-operation and exchange benefits everyone.
  • We support communities with voluntary work.
  • Real cultural understanding comes from volunteering with and in different cultures.
  • The experience brings lasting friendships that crosses all kinds of borders.
  • Volunteering should be open to all.
  • The challenges of volunteering will help you develop as a person.
  • Living as a group of volunteers strengthens bonds and develops you personally.
  • Volunteering enables education between different cultures.


UK-QUote_150Project Spotlight – Manjushri

We’re running two projects this year at Manjushri, the first starting in mid-June and the second at the end of August. Both projects run for 2 weeks. Manjushri is an internationally renowned centre for meditation, where volunteers gain experience of living and working in a modern day Buddhist community, helping to gain a peaceful and relaxed mind and meeting others with shared perspectives and ideas.

The work is varied and has included gardening, office work and decorating. There are often various building projects taking place and recent volunteers have worked within the grounds, painted within the house and art studio as well as general manual work and woodland clearing. We have just a couple of spaces remaining on both of these inspiring projects, so if you’d like to apply, be quick!

NCS photo May_550


Young leaders, Inspire others

We’ve had lots of graduates from 2015 asking if they can get involved and support future NCS programmes- which is fantastic! It’s so great to hear that you want to continue sharing the NCS love, by contributing your skills and passion. You’re just what new NCS-ers need to help them with their NCS journey. For this reason, we’re now offering graduates an amazing opportunity to become Young Leaders during Summer 2016, supporting other NCS teams during July and August. These voluntary positions will give you a deeper insight into NCS, how the programme is organised and the opportunity to inspire others.  Not only that, you’ll gain vital experience of leading groups and supporting young people on a one-to-one basis. Put the experience straight onto your CV and use it in application forms for university/apprenticeships/jobs. If you think you have what it takes, get in touch with Hannah!

Once you have submitted your CV and cover letter (stating why you would like to be considered for the role), you’ll need to attend a training day to help you prepare for your role. We’d like you to support and inspire teams during their social action phase of the programme, to get out in their local area and make a difference. There will be job opportunities with Concordia to work as an NCS assistant leader on future programmes, so as a Young Leader you’ll be in a great position to apply for paid work in the future.

NCS_QUOTE_FRAME_May_150Places for NCS Summer 2016 are going fast! As you are well aware, NCS really is the experience of a lifetime. We at Concordia want as many young people as possible to take advantage of the funding available from the government to gain new skills, increase confidence, makes friends for life and have a summer they’ll never forget! If you know anyone who thinks they might like to sign-up. Send them our way!

Starts dates across July and August are: Saturday 2nd July, Monday 18th July and Monday 1st August so we can work around holidays and part time jobs. Share the NCS love! To help, we’ve recently found this new video from Suli Breaks. He’s a spoken word artist who really rates NCS! We think he sums NCS up quite perfectly- so, we wanted to share it! Check it out here!

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