European Voluntary Service

European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a European Commission scheme which encourages 18-30 year olds legally resident in the UK to undertake long term volunteering in Europe.

European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a European Commission scheme which encourages 18-30 year olds to undertake long term volunteering in Europe.

The scheme is funded in order to make volunteering as accessible as possible. The projects are unpaid and, importantly, volunteers do not replace paid workers.


How to become an EVS Volunteer through VAP?

All you need to know on how to become an European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteer through VAP

STEP 1: Registering with VAP as Sending Organisation

VAP is an accredited Sending Organisation for EVS. In order to apply for an EVS placement abroad, you will need to register with an accredited EVS sending organisation within the UK.

In order to be able to be sent by VAP we ask applicants to become members of our charity. In order to do it you can click here

VAP will help prepare you for your EVS experience and will support you while you are abroad. Please note that from the time of registering with us it will take a minimum of three months before you can start your EVS placement. Please send this form by email.

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EVS Registration Form with VAP
Please click on this icon to download the form

STEP 2: Choosing a host project

What would you like to do? Where would you like to go?

There are a huge range of EVS voluntary placements across Europe. Project themes include: culture, social care, environment, youth, sport, and more. Think about what interests and motivates you before you contact host organisations. It will help if you are as open minded as possible.

VAP works with a vast network of international like-minded organisations experienced in hosting EVS volunteers. We will do our best to find you a project that can match your expectations.

You can also search for projects by country or theme by visiting the European Commission’s project database (however, do note that some projects may not have EVS placements available).

For visiting the EU project database please click here

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How does EVS work?

European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a fantastic opportunity for you to carry out a period of full time voluntary service abroad from 2 to 12 months.  The programme is open to all young people aged 18-30 legally resident in the UK.

European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a fantastic opportunity for you to carry out a period of full time voluntary service abroad from 2 to 12 months. The programme is open to all young people aged 18-30 legally resident in the UK.

How does EVS work?

EVS is based on a partnership between a host project, the volunteer and a sending organisation. Volunteers carry out their volunteering placement in a host project outside the UK. Volunteers choose from accredited EVS projects that interest them. Host projects select volunteers for the vacancies they have. Applications for funding are made on the volunteer’s behalf by either the host or sending organisation.

Benefits of EVS volunteering

- gain confidence and independence

- experience a different culture

- learn new skills and develop competencies

- contribute to the local host community

- enhance employability (Youthpass certificate on completion).

How much will it cost?

It’s free! There is no cost to the volunteer at any stage. Travel, accommodation, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant. You will even receive a small personal allowance each month.

Do I need any qualifications?

No. There are no qualification requirements. Basic language knowledge will help, but is not necessary

Young people with fewer opportunities

EVS is inclusive for all young people. Those volunteers with fewer opportunities who do not feel able to complete a longer term placement can take part in EVS for a short term project from 2 weeks to 2 months. Extra support is available if you feel that this would be needed for you to carry out your project.

For definitions of fewer opportunities download the European Commission’s descriptors from their inclusion strategy here

Volunteers who complete a short term EVS project are eligible to apply again for a longer placement. The total duration of both projects cannot exceed 12 months.

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An alternative to EVS

To find a good EVS project is not easy. The competition is intense and only one in four make it to the application stage (after which generally all are placed - VAP have a good record).

However there is an easier alternative. VAP has a non-EVS medium to long term volunteering programme. These projects take place all over the world and the duration is up to you, ranging from 1 to 12 months. Volunteers pay their flights and often pay monthly fees to the hosting organisation but the application process is simple and fast.

For more information go to our projects database and click on the options ’1 to 6 months’ or ’more than 6 months’.

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member of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Volunteer International Network Exchange UK
with the support of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the European «Youth in Action» Programme

Quote of the day

« I think our work has really opened the eyes of the youth there. I think that, because of our presence, some local youths got the chance to learn about other cultures which they wouldn't have otherwise. »

Monique T. from London

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