Weekend Group Projects

How long: Two days (Friday to Sunday)
When: Spring/Summer
Destinations: Across Wales
Activities: Social, Environmental, Youth Work, Arts/Cultural
Who can apply: Anyone 18+
Cost: £25

Our programme of weekend projects, around 5-7 per year, is a relatively new development (started in 2005) and is proving popular with volunteers and host communities alike. A two-day project offers a great chance to do something different, to be active, to meet lots of other people and to discover another part of Wales. As with all of our work weekend projects are intercultural; they are very popular with international students in the UK, so you can be sure of meeting many different nationalities.

The weekend projects run on exactly the same lines as the two-week International Volunteer Projects: the group lives and works together, there is a leader within the group to help manage/organise the project and the local host runs the work. In the past our weekend projects have included helping out with planting in an organic garden, building bird boxes at a Country Park and clearing footpaths in a Forest Park.

A weekend project can be a great way of experiencing this type of volunteering if you are unable, or not sure, of making a longer commitment. It can also provide a good stepping-stone and introduction to the other activities run by UNA Exchange, you will meet others who have different experiences of volunteering and can gain an idea of what else is on offer.

For further information please contact [email protected].

Case Study - Red Cafe Swansea

The Red Café, a local youth project in Swansea, were planning to run their first International Volunteer Project in summer 2005 and wanted to try out a short project in preparation. We had seven volunteers from Wales, France, Italy, Malta, England and Somalia.

The work was on an organic farm, a piece of land recently purchased for introducing young people to environmental issues. Their plan was to cultivate the land to grow vegetables and keep some chickens and a goat. Once the initial developments had been made, they would invite local schools to visit and involve the children in how an organic farm works.

We worked about five hours on Saturday. First we cut back huge swathes of overgrown thorn bushes and assorted weeds. Then we dug out a huge patch to be used for planting vegetables.

On the Sunday, we shaped a hillside patch into three descending terraces, each with a footpath in between to allow a gardener to tend the vegetables. By the afternoon we were able to sow some vegetables and admire our work.

The previous morning we were looking at wildly overgrown vegetation, but this was now transformed into a smart, three-level, hillside vegetable patch.

In our social time we managed to cook a group meal, wander around Swansea, and share stories from all of our countries.

Gavin Meany, 2005