VolPower volunteers

More than 5000 young people are being matched with volunteering opportunities across Europe as part of a £900,000 EU-funded study.

VolPower encourages volunteers to sign up for sport, cultural or artistic activities across seven countries to increase social integration between EU citizens, migrants and refugees.

Researchers in Scotland, Holland, Austria, Malta, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia are working with local groups and providing mentoring for sports and creative arts volunteers to set up their own projects.

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 empowering individuals within their communities and helping to foster mutual understanding.”

GCU is working alongside the University of Rotterdam, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Italy’s Institute for Minority Rights, Zavod APIS, in Slovenia, SOS Malta, and IRMO Croatia, on the project.