What is European Voluntary Service?
European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a Erasmus+ mobility project for young people which encourages 18-30 year olds to undertake long or short term volunteering in Europe. The scheme is fully funded in order to make the projects as accessible as possible. The projects are voluntary, unpaid and importantly, volunteers do not replace paid workers or financially profit the hosting organisation.
What are the benefits of EVS volunteering?
Volunteering through EVS provides young people with a real-life international learning experience, encouraging social integration, increasing employability and offers opportunities to show solidarity with other people.
Among many benefits, organisations and local communities are strengthened by the experience of European partnerships who exchange cultural knowledge and good practice, increasing awareness and understanding of international youth work.
EVS aspires to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, primarily to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union. It promotes active citizenship and enhances mutual understanding among young people.
18 and 30 years old (must be accepted on a project before the EVS deadline prior to your 31st birthday)
UK resident (for a project overseas)
EU citizen or rights to live and work long term in Europe
How much does EVS cost?
It’s FREE! EVS is a fully funded scheme therefore the project costs and volunteer expenses are covered by the EVS grant.
The grant covers costs such as:
- Travel (10% of travel is not funded therefore you may need to fundraise this nominal cost)
- Medical insurance
- Food and accommodation
- Pocket money (the amount varies depending on the project and destination)
Where can you go?
Most countries in the EU have EVS projects. Over the past few years we (Concordia) have sent volunteers to Germany, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Holland, Austria and Iceland. Please note that Western Europe is often more competitive to find a project.
Occasionally there are opportunities to volunteer outside the EU (please note that non EU projects take longer to apply for and the grant is more difficult to be awarded).
What types of projects are there?
Social (children, adults, older people, special needs, learning difficulty, physical difficulty)
Health (drugs/alcohol, HIV education, care work)
Conservation (wildlife, environment, renovation, gardening, agriculture)
Minority groups (refugees, homeless, disaffected youth)
Arts/cultural (arts/crafts, theatre, media, festival)
The two types of EVS programme
– Long-term programme:
Long-term projects are between 6 to 12 months. What makes this programme different from Concordia short-term international volunteer projects, other than the length, is that the young person is encouraged to play an active role in finding and organising their project. This applies during the project itself with emphasis on the volunteer working with the host to build a mutually beneficial work experience. The projects last for a specified period of time, which is usually 6, 9, or 12 months. The long-term programme is open to any young person aged 18-30 who is resident in the UK and who has EU citizenship.
– Short-term programme:
Short-term projects are from 2 weeks to 6 months and are aimed specifically at young people with fewer opportunities who require additional support/mentoring. It offers a first step to longer term volunteering. Anyone interested in receiving more information on short-term opportunities should contact the office directly.