Senior Volunteer Project
This senior volunteer project involved a bilateral exchange of 12 senior volunteers from Glasgow and Berlin. In the early part of summer of 2012 6 German volunteers came to Glasgow for 4 weeks before 6 Glasgwegian volunteers went to Berlin for 4 weeks at the start of the summer. The German volunteers worked in a number of community and urban gardens across the city, in the main part in some of the cities most deprived areas.
As well as spending time working alongside local volunteers and children the international volunteers helped to build a bike shed, a planter wall from recycled materials and helped with the construction of a straw bale building. Additionally the spent time exploring the city during free time in the evening and weekends and also visited Edinburgh and Clydemuirshiel Regional Park.
The Glaswegian volunteers who went to Berlin spent their time helping to research and produce a map of urban and community gardens in Berlin, some time working in the gardens themselves as well as taking part in a number of creative and upclycling workshops.
This project was financed by the Grundtvig strand of the Life Long Learning Programme.
The General Aims of the Project were:
- Active Citizenship
- Reduction of Environmental Impact
- Development of Sustainable Living Practices
- Intergenerational Learning
- Active Lifestyles for Seniors
- Urban Development and Civic Partnership
- Intercultural Understanding
- Better understand their roles as citizens
- Have an increased understanding how to reduce their environmental impact
- Understand practices such as Urban Gardening & Upcycling (creating new products from waste materials)
- Feel more confident in their relationships with young people and immigrant groups
- Be more aware of common features of European Culture
- Understand different techniques used to tackle common social problems
- Understand the importance of sustainable living techniques such as recycling
- Find new ways to keep an active lifestyle, such as volunteering and urban gardening
- Feel more confident interacting with people how do not share a common language
- Feel more confident travelling to new areas and countries
- Be able to use social and digital media to document experience, share learning, contact new groups and keep in contact with friends and family
- Enjoy stronger links
- Have better experienced staff, mentors and young volunteers
- Understand how to work with senior volunteers
- Be more motivated to host international volunteers
- See a rise in individual desire to take part in
- Be more comfortable interacting with visitors from other cultures