Co-funded by the Erasmus+
programme of the European Union

The project is funded by Erasmus+, with EU funding, and gives young people an opportunity to spend between two and twelve months in another country.  It allows the young person to develop their skills, learn about a new country, contribute to the organisation in which they volunteer, share their culture, settle into a new community, make new friends and build a network for future opportunities, among many other experiences.  At the same time the organisation benefits from the project through the help and assistance of the volunteer, their energy and creativity, their contribution to the wider community of the organisation and the intercultural learning that the project enables.

YMCA Bath Group has been running EVS projects for more than twelve years and act as Co-ordinating and Receiving Organisation for our project based in Bath.  We are also a Sending Organisation and we have sent volunteers to projects abroad.  All projects are subject to a successful funding application.

In our project we give the opportunity to three or four volunteers each year to come to live in Bath and volunteer for our organisation in a number of areas.  The project is focused upon our childcare, in our out of school clubs and nurseries, but also gives the volunteers a chance to volunteer in our Health & Wellbeing Centre, Bath Hostel and Social Enterprise Café in Bristol.  The variety of the project gives the volunteers a broader experience of the organisation and also allows them to develop a greater variety of skills and interaction with different people.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To bring together a group of volunteers each from different cultures to live together and volunteer on our varied and interesting programme
  • To create an opportunity for learning by focusing the project upon our children’s work and giving the volunteers an extensive and varied experience across our nurseries and out of school clubs (including a better understanding of the Early Years Framework and current playwork practices in the UK)
  • To offer a rich intercultural learning experience for the volunteers and also for the staff, children and families with whom they will be working
  • To encourage creativity and entrepreneurial spirit – in particular by working on individual and group activities
  • To build positive international relationships
  • To promote tolerance and understanding
  • To enable personal growth of the volunteers – increasing confidence and developing new skills and promote lifelong learning

Areas of voluntary work:

Whilst on the project the volunteers will work across a variety of programmes to build experience and develop new skills.

  • A greater understanding of the early years framework in the UK, Ofsted requirements and playwork practices.
  • Development of skills in research, planning and implementing activities for children.
  • Increased digital competence through this research and planning, and also through keeping in touch with friends and family while away from home using all the different media options available, keeping photo journals or other records of the experience, searching for jobs for after the project ends or other next opportunities and other means.
  • Gaining an understanding of the iPad system Tapestry used for the creation and ongoing updating of learning journeys for the children, and for use in communication with families.
  • Experience of working with different age groups of children, helping to decide on what path to take in future careers.
  • Confidence in working with children and how to capture and retain the attention and imagination of children in activities and freeplay.
  • A greater understanding of how to pick up on the interests of the children and use this knowledge to mould further activities, taking the thread of the children’s interest and using it as an opportunity to develop their learning.
  • Developing a greater understanding of the role a community health and wellbeing centre can play, offering social interaction, fitness support, an inclusive environment, support and training for general health or in preparation for events such as a marathon, confidence building and the GP referrals scheme.
  • Increased digital competence through operation of the electronic till system, bookings for classes, understanding of the fitness machines, helping with the new iPad fitness programme system (interlinking with the machines).
  • Increased confidence through dealing with customers using another language, taking phone calls and answering queries, working in part of a motivated and supportive staff team.
  • Increased digital competence through use of online Hostelworld booking system and Microsoft office.
  • Developing customer service skills in a hostel praised regularly in reviews for excellent customer service.
  • Increased confidence through dealing with customers face to face and on the phone.
  • Developing a greater understanding of the social enterprise concept of the café, providing young people who have had few opportunities with training and experience, encouraging local volunteers to get involved, providing good, healthy food for the public.
  • Increased confidence from dealing with customers and working within a supportive and inclusive team.
  • Developing barrista skills including latte art, either learning from the existing staff team or attending training provided by the company who supplies our coffee.
  • Increased digital competence, using the electronic till system, processing orders and taking payments.

Please note that we are currently NOT accepting any applications for the EVS project

If you would like to apply to our project in Bath all we need is the following information:

  • CV
  • Motivation Letter
  • Covering Email
  • Details of your Sending Organisation

It is really important that you have a Sending Organisation to represent you as the organisation will be our project partner.

We normally look to apply for the February deadline each year so accept applications from July to October in the year before the deadline.  This gives us time to review all applications, create our partnerships and submit our application for funding.

If you have any questions before you apply please just ask.

If you are interested in taking part in EVS abroad and would like us to represent you as your sending organisation please get in touch to discuss the options.  We like to set up an initial meeting to discuss the process and to help you find a project.  An example CV and motivation letter is helpful at the beginning for us to get started.

Please check the EVS Database on the portal at the address below.

https://europa.eu/youth/EU/voluntary-activities/european-voluntary-service_en

Our most recent project report can be found here

Contact

If you would like to find out more about our project please get in touch by email at this address: volunteer@bathymca.co.uk

Alternatively our phone number is 01225 325900 if you would like to get in touch by telephone.

We share stories from our project through our social media below.  This is a great way to learn more about what we do and to find out about the experience of our volunteers.