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Testimonials from our past UK Group Coordinators

On this page we would like to share the comments from our past coordinators about their experience with Concordia. A big thank you goes to all of them for their amazing work and for helping Concordia run so many valuable and worthwhile projects.

Giulia Sinibaldi, Rock Farm 2019

“Having coordinated with Concordia before, I was looking for a new way of experiencing volunteering projects, that is coordinating a teenage project. It was a thrilling experience, tiring, of course, but really exciting. It gave me the opportunity to witness the enthusiasm these very young volunteers bring to the project and how their shared experience becomes an important part of their growing up and defining themselves. It was a great occasion to learn, both for me and them, have fun and (re)discover Brighton. It was also a chance to getting to know One Church and Rock Farm, and learn more about everyday volunteering and social projects. I have coordinated 5 projects so far but each time I do it I am learning new things and I get better as a coordinator and as a person.

This project was probably the most intense, powerful, rich and tiring experience of my summer. As one of my volunteers pointed out, volunteering is often misunderstood, it should be considered a form of education. It has been a privilege for me to learn from these people. I ‘ve received and given so much I think everyone should go through something like this at some point in their life (the sooner the better!).”

Katey Cheung, YMCA Carers Festival 2019

“I chose to coordinate because I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and to have some responsibility while being able to meet new people from other countries who could have different perspectives on life. I wasn’t expecting the amount of preparation I had to do but I felt well supported by Concordia, so even though I was nervous as this was my first time volunteering as a coordinator, it was completely worth it in the end.

I learned so much from being at Fairthorne Manor for the YCF and I met so many new faces! The actual work I did to prepare for the YCF on site was not the easiest job in the world, but it was absolutely worth it when I saw just how much the young carers really valued and treasured being at the festival. So all in all, I loved being there and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s considering volunteering as a coordinator on a UK project.”

Irene Souto, Moulsecoomb 2019

“I chose to coordinate because, after some experiences in volunteering, I thought it was the next step to follow. I think that volunteering makes a local and personal impact and I wanted to get more experiences but in the role as coordinator. After this experience, I discovered I developed coordinating and communicative skills.”

Barney Smith, Green and Away Take Down 2019

“I like to help other people experience those aspects of British life and culture which you don’t always see as a tourist. I also wanted to use my experience as a regular volunteer in other countries to help create a successful project in the UK. I will miss the people I worked with at Green and Away – both Concordia volunteers and other people. The past two weeks were a happy and positive experience for me. Thank you!”

Oliver Gaen, Patchfest 2019

“I was looking for an interesting voluntary opportunity to do for my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential following the conclusion of my degree but didn’t really want to do the summer camp-type style volunteering. The international volunteering project gave me the opportunity to experience my local area through the eyes of the unknowing once more and the ability to see the weird and wonderful differences between the UK and the rest of the world.”

Stefania Rosso, Green and Away Festival 2019

“I am very fulfilled and committed to facilitating culture integration among international volunteers within the UK community, even more after Brexit. Green & Away project fits perfectly with my background and career choices in the sustainability arena. I could coordinate inside-out this project reasonably well and easily. Very rewarding!”

Hayley Dibbs, Brighton Rocks 2019

“For a number of years now, I have enjoyed spending some time during my school holidays doing volunteer work. I chose particularly this one due to my own interest in the environment, being outdoors and to continue to develop my leadership skills. It was an interesting experience, particularly with a very mixed group of teenagers however one that I will look back on with good memories. I will also never forget Brighton in the rain!”

Joana Salles, Green and Away Set Up 2018

“I chose to coordinate at Green and Away as the project really appealed to me in terms of environmental values. I found the experience very fulfilling as I had more responsibilities than volunteers while still having the chance to participate actively in the project. More than problems, the issues I encountered helped me to work on my self and become a more understanding person. Overall coordinating with Concordia is an experience I would recommend to anyone who wishes to make a difference while meeting great people and improve their leadership skills”.

Victoria Huges, YMCA Young Carers Festival 2018

“I chose to coordinate as not only does it allow me to meet new people from all over the world, it also gives me the opportunity to make a difference to people here in the UK. The cause behind this whole festival project is amazing, an eye-opening experience but also very rewarding. It’s a busy and demanding project, but it is so worth it as for many people at the festival this is the only time to have no caring responsibilities”

Imogen Fallon, Moulsecoomb Primary School 2018

I chose to coordinate a project because I enjoy volunteering and wanted to gain some work experience with more responsibility. I felt that the coordinator role would provide me with more insight into how such community projects are run, and it did. It also gave me more confidence in dealing with groups of people and when to act assertively and make decisions. I learnt a lot about Moulsecoomb and how children with difficulties in school can be encouraged/supported through activities like gardening and cycling, and how much the pupils benefit from some extra interaction. I admit I felt quite underprepared and inexperienced for such leadership role, but it was definitively worthwhile, met some lovely people from different countries and cultures, and I am glad I have done it”

Eleanor Jackson, Rock Farm 2018

“I love being outdoors and in nature, therefore Rock Farm sounded brilliant. I wanted to push myself and share a new experience and meet some new people. It was an amazing experience and I would definitively do a project again. I learnt hwo I work as a team leader for the first time”

Neil Calderwood, Patchfest 2018

“I chose to co-ordinate with Concordia because I share their passion for connecting people from all over the world and bringing them together to bond over worthwhile work. I loved PatchFest because plays a fantastic role in bringing the local community together and has a lasting impact on the lives it serves and the neighbourhood.

The experience was fantastic. Our international volunteers were all able to get stuck into the work and be proud of themselves for stepping out of their comfort zones and put in a great shift to make the event happen. They were rewarded by very appreciative fellow local volunteers and very happy festival goers. We were all kind and supportive to one another and were able to laugh at the tough times and relax well together in the breaks. It was brilliant to work with a diverse group and facilitate the togetherness that formed as the work, conditions and social times united us with a common experience and purpose.

The community welcomed us really warmly and made us feel at home, adding tremendously to the project. And the project itself proved to be a beautiful legacy of bringing locals together for a very positive cause”.

Stefania Rosso, Green and Away Festival 2018

“Personally, I have been always very committed to facilitating the best integration possible of the international volunteers within the UK community, even more after Brexit. Besides, Green & Away project fits perfectly with my background and career in sustainability. I could coordinate inside out this project very well and reasonably easily. The experience was one of the most rewarding I have ever had, and the Concordia volunteers participating was such an interesting group”!

Barney Smith, Green and Away Take Down 2018

“I chose to coordinate in order to take a break from my usual routine and get out of my comfort zone, while at the same time doing useful work together with international volunteers. The experience helped me to develop my practical skills and taught me more about myself and others”

Kiranpreet Sira, Manjushri 2018

“I love meeting new people and travelling is my passion. Coordinating this project has been very rewarding on both occasions (in 2017 and 2018). I believe we all had a fantastic time”

Hlanganiso Matangaidze, Patchfest 2017

“I chose to coordinate because I believed I would be able to improve both my teamwork and leadership skills. By the end of the week I felt as if I had become more confident in coordinating/leading as well as learning to listen to the opinions of the volunteers and cooperate better with them. I really enjoyed the responsibility I was given during the week at Patchfest. It has really encouraged me to try and pursue more coordinator roles and hopefully some international ones, as the experience and skills I obtained from my first coordinator role are invaluable and will be of great use to me in my future career”.

Alex Kimber, Green and Away Set up, 2017

“I chose to co-ordinate to broaden my volunteer experience and meet people and have fun in the summer. My experience was amazing! Green and Away has a warm culture and many volunteers return again and again. It’s a magical place and I made some great friends”.

Ed Steele, Green and Away Take Down, 2017

“I wanted to do something I’d never actually do and find things out about myself. I got this and more. I am so glad I did this and it was an incredible experience!”.

Giuliana Sinibaldi, Moulsecoomb, 2017

“After participating in various projects as a volunteer and in a couple as a coordinator, I decided I wanted to repeat the experience as a coordinator to share my experience in volunteering projects and tips about Brighton. The experience was amazing, as always when going as a coordinator I was focusing on organising and facilitating the life of the volunteers on the project, but when you get there you realise that this is just a small part of the experience which is actually very enriching and fun. I feel like I helped building a project everyone was able to enjoy, myself included. The experience was amazing and I think it was useful for the other volunteers to have someone a little more experience than them to turn to when they had problems or questions”.

Chipego Samuwele, YMCA Young Carers festival, 2017

“I wanted some experience in doing something different like this and I loved what this project was about – doing something amazing for the young carers and making them feel appreciated – they were all very pleasant and polite including their leaders. I had so much fun but definitively it was being surrounded by amazing friendly volunteers that just made this experience wonderful. They were so welcoming into their little family. We didn’t feel like intruders and they kept asking us to stay longer or return on any of the next upcoming projects, which I would love to do!”.

Victoria Hughes, Trythall School 2017

“I have done a lot of volunteering over the past few years and I wanted to try something a bit different, so chose the Trythall project. And I have zero regrets in this decision. I wanted to be able to help a school as well as meet volunteers, share our cultures and learn some new skills. The role of a coordinator wasn’t too challenging as there were two of us which was very much needed here. A summer I will never forget, met some lovely people that I am sure I will see again soon. If I could do it again, I would without question”.

Ed Steele, Trythall School, 2017

“I chose to coordinate because I believe in the benefit volunteers can make to good causes, especially outdoor education for children. Second, for the people who do these projects (hosts and volunteers, they are actually great)”.

Barnaby Smith, Manjushri 1

“I chose to coordinate in order to use my experience from previous projects to lead a project of my own. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience and gave me an unusually close-up insight into Buddhism and meditation”.

Kiranpreet Sira, Manjushri 2

“I have previously volunteered in many different projects, thus, I felt that co-ordinating a project would be interesting, especially working with a group. Although co-ordinating projects comes with much responsibility, it does not restrict you from getting involved in all the working activities other volunteers are involved in. I had an amazing experience, although I was the Coordinator I have made great friends with all the volunteers”.

Joana Salles, Manjushri 3

“I believed being a coordinator would improve my organisational skills and help me be more patient when any problem arised. I also wanted to make the volunteer experience unforgettable and was my first project. The experience at Manjushri was great to enhance my sense of responsibility and also helped me to deal with different needs and desires to reach compromises within the group. Overall, this was one of the greatest experiences in my life and I hope the skills I have acquired will help me in the future”.

 

Become a Group Co-ordinator for Concordia

We are now recruiting coordinators for summer 2020.

The next training weekend is on Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th March 2020 in Portslade, near Brighton. The weekend is informal but covers everything from the day to day running of the projects through to conflict resolution and promoting cultural awareness. Read more about the Coordinator Training. For more information you can also contact Francesco Bonini on incoming@concordiavolunteers.org.uk or call 01273 422218.

 

Summer Programme 2019

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