This project was a short-term, 16 day group EVS which hosted 30 participants from five different countries. This project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
The main activities took place at Leeds Music Festival – one of the biggest festivals in the country at which the capacity is approximately 80,000 people, and Tribfest, a smaller, community-run festival, also in Yorkshire, UK to which 5,000 people attend. Volunteers worked alongside the Green Messengers during the festivals, a team of volunteers and paid supervisors that ensure the sustainability of large music festivals – a position that required them to oversee the recycling of drinks receptacles and encourage other campers to recycle their rubbish by dispensing refuse sacks around the public campsites and creating recycling points for campers to be able to separate their waste. Volunteers also had the opportunity to try other tasks such as working with young children. After the festivals volunteers were involved in the salvaging of good quality camping equipment and food abandoned by other festival-goers. A huge amount of food was donated immediately to charities working with the homeless and those effected by poverty, and the equipment was redistributed to community groups, charities and local organisations following the festival.
One of the main themes for the project was environmental awareness and participants were surrounded by the green message both during the activities and at the training that they received at the start of the project. The underlying theme however was that of inclusion. The activities were designed so that language wasn't a barrier to any participants, and all required skills could be learned in situ, which opened the experience to anyone regardless of their education or background and was an effective method of empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to come together in an international context to gain non-formal experiences which will help to shape their future by boosting self-confidence and social competence.
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