“We have found Concordia to be excellent at gathering a diverse range of volunteers who are able to invest for a week in our frontline social projects. The summer groups have enabled us to plan for big chunks of work and to make vital use of that energy while offering deeply meaningful experiences to young people.
We are able to better support vulnerable people, generate much-needed funds for our charity, complete major site projects and raise our profile as an organisation as a result of this partnership. Our summers at Rock Farm greatly benefit from Concordia volunteers, and we love having them around.”
- Ben Szobody, Projects Development Manager for One Church Brighton & Rock Farm

At Concordia, we’ve been hosting international volunteer projects since 1993. The first was for the Countryside Service of Brighton and involved seasonal conservation work in the beautiful South Downs.

Since then our programme has gone from strength to strength and our projects include environmental work, supporting children’s playschemes and summer camps, helping to run festivals and working with children and adults with learning difficulties.

Looking to offer a project?

We work with all kinds of non-profit community organisations, including local charities, local authorities, youth and environmental groups. As the host organisation you’d provide food and accommodation, and get an enthusiastic, helpful team of international volunteers for your project in return. We provide the volunteers. We also arrange for one or two group co-ordinators to join each project, to represent Concordia and ensure that everything runs smoothly. UK projects normally run between June and September.

A little effort, so many benefits.

International volunteers are a hugely enthusiastic resource, raring to get working for you and the community! Most projects run for between one and two weeks, so they can accomplish much more than you could in a few days or a weekend.

What’s more…
  • Hosting an international group can help to broaden the horizons of local people – it may even prompt them to do a volunteer project themselves.
  • Meeting a diverse, international group of helpful, young people can help to break down cultural stereotypes and promote international understanding.
  • Hosting international volunteers gives communities an insight into other cultures.
  • A project is often a good story for local media.
  • Some projects run for just a week, others for 2 months, 6 months or a year, so do still let us know if you have a shorter or longer-term opportunity.

What we’re looking for

Most importantly, the hosting organisation must be not-for-profit and community based. Volunteers must not be replacing paid staff (though they can work alongside paid staff), but doing something extra.

Our projects are typically group activities, so there needs to be enough work for 3-15 volunteers to undertake in 1-3 weeks. And of course, the work needs to be interesting and worthwhile.

What’s more…
  • Hosting an international group can help to broaden the horizons of local people – it may even prompt them to do a volunteer project themselves.
  • Meeting a diverse, international group of helpful, young people can help to break down cultural stereotypes and promote international understanding.
  • Hosting international volunteers gives communities an insight into other cultures.
  • A project is often a good story for local media.
  • Some projects run for just a week, others for 2 months, 6 months or a year, so do still let us know if you have a shorter or longer-term opportunity.

Concordia will provide a coordinator – an experienced volunteer – to look after the group in their free time, organise the food shopping, getting the group to work on time and so on.           

As the host, you would be responsible for covering the cost of the food, accommodation and if necessary the transport from the accommodation to the worksite. We recommend budgeting £3.75 per volunteer per day for food, or you can provide the food itself if you wish. The accommodation only needs to be very basic – on many of our projects the volunteers sleep on mats on the floor or camp beds, which the volunteers or Concordia can provide, and they’ll bring their own sleeping bags. The host is responsible for ensuring that the accommodation is insured to sleep in and is safe. For projects hosting teen volunteers (aged 15-17), if needed, Concordia would be able to cover the costs of food and accommodation for the host.

Concordia will:

  • promote the project with our partner organisations and find the volunteers
  • provide an experienced and trained co-ordinator who will look after the group outside of work hours and also help to supervise them during the work
  • undertake all of the administration required and also assist volunteers who need a visa by liaising with the British Embassy in their home country and writing official invitations for the volunteers
  • provide support during the project including 24-hour emergency support for the duration of the project
  • provide a social budget for the group to use in their free time
  • provide basic accident and illness insurance for the volunteers for the duration of the project, however, the host must have public liability insurance for the work and the accommodation.

“Apart from the benefit of us getting practical work done, the local community benefit by being reminded of how nice their locality is and the material benefits of being able to negotiate previously difficult paths, one member of the public I was talking to on the Friday afternoon commented on how she had noticed that the woods were a lot nicer to take runs in over the last 3 years.
Some locals had been asking for a number of years for certain things to be fixed and the large body of volunteers that running a project can provide means we can hit an area and really make a difference, getting larger jobs done that would be very hard with just a couple of people.”    Sam Talbot from Castle Morpeth Borough Council

Interested in hosting?

If you think you or your organisation would benefit from a Concordia project please contact our UK Volunteer Programme Co-ordinator on 01273 422 218 or [email protected] for more information.

Project Host Information 

Host Guidelines 2020