Supported Volunteering / Step by Step
International volunteering isn’t accessible for everyone. Money, time, ability and confidence often stand in the way. This means many people can’t benefit from the personal development opportunities that international volunteering can offer.
Step by Step is our main supported volunteering project. Now in its fourth year, the project supports over 35 volunteers from Wales to join international projects.
Step by Step gives people the chance to take part in a structured programme of global learning. This includes international volunteering in Wales or abroad, and sharing international experiences with others in their local communities.
- Most opportunities are for young people aged 16-30, but older volunteers can join too.
- Step by Step runs each year between April and September.
- International projects last between 2 weeks – 3 months. The project also includes preparation and follow up activities. The total time we expect people to be involved in Step by Step is typically 3 – 6 months.
- Volunteers can join international projects with partners across Europe and in Wales.
- UNA Exchange provides whatever assistance volunteers need to help them get the most from their experiences. Volunteers receive training and are provided with a mentor whilst on the project.
- There is also a programme of educational activities to support intercultural learning. Projects are based on themes including renovation, environment, youth work, arts, cultural awareness, language, and sport.
Who can apply?
All applicants for Step by Step need to be nominated by a partner organisation. Any youth / community organisation in Wales can become a partner. Partners are responsible for recruiting young people to join the project and supporting them through the programme.
Step by Step volunteers do not need experience of volunteering or travel, but must already be involved with the project partner.
Practical arrangements and costs:
UNA Exchange organises all practical aspects of the project including travel, training and insurance. Whilst on the project all food, accommodation and bills are covered by the local hosts.
Volunteers have the choice to go independently to a project or be part of a group of up to 4 volunteers going from Wales. Groups of 4 often have a designated project leader who is often a support worker or youth worker.
UNA Exchange provides:
- funding for 70-90% travel costs and
- 100% of accommodation costs
- food and medical insurance
Volunteers are asked to fundraise for the remaining 10-30% travel costs and for items such as passports and luggage.
The fundraising target for volunteers is normally around £100 - £200 to be given to UNA Exchange before or at the final evaluation meeting in September.
How to be a Step by Step partner:
- Contact the Supported Volunteering Manager at UNA Exchange to express your interest in becoming a project partner, and arrange a meeting to discuss in more detail.
- Nominate volunteers from your organisation to participate in the project.
- Support your volunteers to complete and submit an application form to UNA Exchange.
- UNA Exchange then selects participants based on their suitability for the programme and our need to create a balanced group.