Glasgow Caledonian University is set to match 5,000 youngsters with volunteering opportunities across Europe
A European hub for youth volunteering is set to be created at a Scottish university.
More than 5,000 young people are to be matched with volunteering opportunities across Europe as part of a major study led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
VOLPOWER will encourage thousands of volunteers, aged between 18 and 27, to sign up for sport, cultural or artistic activities across seven countries.
The £900,000 EU-funded project aims to increase social integration between EU citizens, migrants and refugees through community volunteering.
Researchers in Scotland, Holland, Austria, Malta, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, will work with local groups and provide mentoring for sports and creative arts volunteers to set up their own projects.
Up to 40 volunteer leaders will attend training sessions in Glasgow and a smartphone app will be developed to help advertise suitable opportunities.
Professor Umut Korkut, lead coordinator of VOLPOWER at GCU, said: “Working together in sport, creative art or cultural activities has the power to break down language barriers and enables young people to truly connect with one another.
“We hope that our research will demonstrate the power that volunteering can have in terms of empowering individuals within their local communities and helping to foster mutual understanding.”
GCU is working alongside the University Rotterdam, Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Institute for Minority Rights, in Italy, Zavod APIS, in Slovenia, SOS Malta, and IRMO Croatia, on the two-project.
Artwork created as part of the study will be displayed at the Museum of Rotterdam and a documentary film will also be produced highlighting the impact of volunteering on local communities.
Dr Fiona Reid, a principal investigator of VOLPOWER, said: “The project will look at how and why volunteering can lead to greater community involvement.
“We hope to influence future policy and inspire similar projects which could then be developed to enhance communities across Europe.”
Original header photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash