Depaul UK Receives Euro Star Volunteers for a Year

by | Jun 24, 2016 | News

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Six young people have joined Depaul UK to undertake voluntary work for the homeless for a year – as part of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) scheme. The six volunteers will spend 12 months with Depaul UK, helping the teams in projects.

Depaul UK’s Head of Volunteering and Programmes Nick Sinclair said: “We have been working with EVS volunteers for the past 13 years and are delighted to welcome this new group. The volunteers provide such energy, passion, skill and time as well as bringing a fresh cultural insight into supporting young people. They will help with project work and also in delivering our Get up and Go progression programme for young people.  They will be leading on various sessions and activities, such as sports, cooking, arts and employability support as well as helping young people have a bigger voice in the way the organisation is run.”

The European Voluntary Service is a scheme funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission – to give young people in Europe the chance to volunteer abroad. It enables young people, aged 17 to 30 years, to live up to 12 months in another European country while working in a non-profit organisation, improving their skills and learning a new language.

Diogo Pinho, from Portugal, and Satu Ojanen and Elina Altonen, both from Finland, are volunteering for Depaul in the South East of England, and Isa Carreira, from Portugal, Felix Heisterkamp, from Germany, and Jari Ulmanen, from Finland, are joining the team in the North East.

Diogo, 20, said: “I want to give my best during my time here because – it’s the only way to get the most out of this opportunity. I was studying psychology at university when I saw it advertised on the internet and put my course on hold to do it. I’m from Porto in Portugal and have distributed food for people who are homeless there. It is great coming to Depaul and I am looking forward to working at a project.”

Elina, 28, a tourism graduate, said: “I think working with young people is what I will be doing in the future. Working at Depaul UK will give me an idea of what to do. I’m looking forward to a great experience, learning new skills and helping young people. It is good at Depaul – everyone has been really nice and helpful.”

Satu, 26, a social services graduate, said: “I worked with young migrants at home in Finland, and have come here to get experience of working with young homeless people. In Finland we do not have a big issue with rough sleeping but there are a lot of people sofa-surfing because it is very expensive to rent an apartment, particularly where I live, in Helsinki.” She added: “I wanted to work with Depaul because its values appealed to me and are similar to mine. I hope I can make a difference and help the young people I will be working with.”

Source: Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN is the social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales)

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