About Volpower

Glasgow Caledonian University leads the EU AMIF (Asylum and Migrant Integration Fund) funded two-year project VOLPOWER: Enhancing Community Building and Social Integration through Dialogue and Collaboration amongst Young Europeans and Third Country Nationals.

The project team consists of Professor Umut Korkut as coordinator, and Dr Fiona Reid and Dr Fiona Skillen as Principal Investigators as well as Marcus Nicolson as the Project Manager.

GCU leads a consortium composed of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Austrian Academy of Sciences – Institute for Urban and Regional Research, EURAC-Institute for Minority Rights Bolzano, Zavod APIS Slovenia, SOS Malta, and IRMO Croatia.

Volpower explores how youth volunteering in sports and arts activities can serve as a mechanism for social integration for youth. Sport and arts activities by their very nature demand high levels of interaction between participants. We believe that this interaction could help to foster, and facilitate community building and mutual understanding. In particular, we will be working with EU Nationals and Third Country Nationals in order to understand the challenges TCN’s face when settling within a new community. We hope that our research will demonstrate the power that volunteering can have in terms of empowering individuals within their local communities.

The project will examine these ideas by working with volunteers in sport and arts organisations from across Europe. The main aims of this project are to initiate youth volunteering in sport and arts related activities amongst EU and TCNs in order to explore the effects which volunteering has on an individual’s or communities’ sense of social integration. The specific project objectives are summarised as follows:

  • To increase integration of TCN volunteers into local communities through sport and arts volunteering, exposing TCNs to informal and formal institutions within their localities.
  • To improve partnership between EUN and TCN volunteers through sports and arts volunteering.
  • To provide participants with intercultural skills as well as life and leadership skills. 

  • To generate communication between the local communities and volunteers of TCN and EUN backgrounds.
  • To foreground the value of volunteering for community building through developing partnerships between the sports and arts volunteers and community stakeholders.
  • To foster common grounds and goals for sustainable partnerships through dialogue, collaboration, and resource sharing enhanced by sports and arts volunteering.
  • To assess practices for the inclusion of TCNs at the micro-community level via sports and arts and how participation in these activities forge intercultural dialogue and processes of integration.
  • To introduce digital tools in illustrating good practice in volunteering. 

Please contact umut.korkut@gcu.ac.uk for all information related to VOLPOWER activities.