21 Sep 2018

The European Solidarity Corps is the European Union initiative which funds opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.

The initiative has a proposed overall budget of 375.6 million euro until 2020.

UK organisations of all sizes, from multinational companies to small NGOs working in local communities, which support social action and promote social inclusion, can submit an application. The first deadline is 16 October 2018. Find out how to apply.

Funding can enhance organisations' capacity and provision, while offering a meaningful experience for proactive young people. With the European Solidarity Corps, people from 18 to 30 years old can have the opportunity to engage with projects that make a difference while learning new skills and receiving some financial support.

Get inspired by reading Fiona Brown's life-changing experience: she joined a project in Poland, whose UK partner was the Language Academy Wales, volunteering at a school in a small town for three months.
 

How it works

There are two strands of funding, for volunteering projects and occupational projects, with three funding application deadlines per year from 2019. All projects must address solidarity-related topics such as:

  • Inclusion
  • Citizenship and democratic participation
  • Disaster prevention and recovery
  • Environment and natural protection
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education and training
  • Reception and integration of refugees and migrants

Projects can take place abroad, according to the area covered by each activity, or in-country.

Types of activities

European Solidarity Corps funding for Volunteering Projects help UK organisations to widen their impact by sending volunteers abroad or hosting them. This type of activity gives young people the chance to play a part in the daily work of organisations, providing a valuable experience for both sides.

Volunteering Projects can combine one or more of the main activities: Individual Volunteering Placements and Volunteering Teams. Overall, these projects last from three months to two years. Activities as short as two weeks can be funded, especially to encourage the participation of people with fewer opportunities.

European Solidarity Corps funding for Traineeships and Jobs provides young people with opportunities for work practice or employment, helping them to enhance their skills and transition into the labour market. These projects last from six months to two years and can take place in the UK or in Europe.

Also, an organisation (public or private) can apply on behalf of an informal group of young people for Solidarity Projects, which are youth-led activities. These projects take place in-country and can last from two to 12 months.

Any organisation wishing to take part in a European Solidarity Corps project must have an accreditation called the Quality Label. It is designed to ensure consistently high standards in all Solidarity Corps' activities. If your organisation is already accredited under Erasmus+ for volunteering projects, you do not need to apply for the Quality Label. 

 

Matching young people and organisations

After completing a simple online registration process, young people can be invited to join activities run by accredited organisations. These organisations have access to a matching tool called Placement Administration and Support System (PASS), which allows them to search the database for suitable candidates for their projects.

The tool is a single-point access to information, placement and recruitment services offering a pool of young people much broader than typically found locally or nationally. If your organisation is already accredited under Erasmus+ for volunteering projects, then it is already able to access PASS.

 

For more information

In the UK, the European Solidarity Corps is implemented by the Erasmus+ National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.

A dedicated website with information for UK organisations is now live: eusolidaritycorps.org.uk. Also, you can subscribe to the European Solidarity Corps UK newsletter to receive the latest updates.

If you have any questions, please contact the European Solidarity Corps team by email: eusolidaritycorps@ecorys.com