The purpose of the EVARS project, policy context and presentation of deliverables
EVARS in Short
When the EVARS project took its beginning, the overall aim was to improve the potential of elderly volunteers as an extra and valuable resource for our society; in order to maintain some of the relationship oriented services of the welfare state, which are the areas where local authorities especially make austerity initiatives due to the financial crisis. The overall aim of EVARS also supports the need to develop a more sustainable and democratic welfare practice.
The policy context and the aim of the EVARS project is further described in the State Of the Art Report available here.
To obtain the overall aim, the EVARS project has 5 specific objectives:
1) To develop, test and propose a training module for senior volunteers and professionals working together with senior volunteer
2) To support closer links between organizations providing training activities for senior citizens and localauthorities
3) To support competence development of senior citizens and to improve the quality of voluntary work from senior citizens
4) To support and improve the mainstreaming process on local level for the engagement of senior citizens as volunteers
5) Create political awareness on local and European level of the potential of engaging senior citizens in voluntary work
The EVARS project is in general based on the principles of action learning, empowerment and a bottom up approach:
The EVARS project has therefore been implemented in 4 local authorities in each participating country, where concrete pilots were carried out with elderly volunteers and professionals from local authorities. The elderly volunteers were offered training based on the course material that the project has developed and the representatives were offered coaching from the EVARS partners in order to look more strategically and structured on how to engage with civil society organisations and elderly volunteers in particular. The pilots have demonstrated very positive results, and the EVARS project has succeeded with assisting local communities to improve their collaboration with civil society organizations and elderly volunteers in order for them to engage in local community activities and “light” welfare assignments.
The impact of the EVARS project is the creation of a win-win situation for two main target groups, who will benefit directly from the project in the following ways:
1) Senior citizens, who have participated in the training sessions and want to participate as volunteers, have gained knowledge and competences enabling them to participate as a volunteer in a more satisfying way for themselves and for the society.
2) Local authorities, who through the trained senior volunteers, have engaged with an extra resource which can supplement the local authorities to increase their performance and reach citizens with “non complicated” and relationship oriented welfare services.
The EVARS project has produced four main European deliverables being:
During the project period, the EVARS newsletter was published with updates from the process. Read the four newsletters from the EVARS project here: