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The Volunteer Centre:
Annual report 2005
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European Volunteer Service


Preventative social leisure time programme · Prevention · Support · Friendship · Help · Care

In the Five P’s programme, one volunteer dedicates him or herself to spending one afternoon a week with a disadvantaged child over the course of at least one year. Together, they do things that the two of them enjoy – going for walks, playing, doing sports or visiting such places as the cinema, the zoo, or they can use the Five P’s clubroom, where they can play games, draw, do crafts or pet and feed Bobeš the rabbit. The Five P’s programme helps children find friends, learn how to communicate, get to know their surroundings, and widen their circle of hobbies and interests. The programme also helps children establish a relationship with an adult volunteer, and offers them the possibility to build close relationships with their peers during the joint activities.


The programme’s name comes from the key words communication, partnership, co-operation. The concept of COMPASS is based on the Canadian P.E.A.K. programme. The basic aim of COMPASS is to provide disadvantaged children with entertainment and friendship in a group. The COMPASS groups consist of 6 disadvantaged children and two specially-trained volunteers who meet once a week over a period of 4-5 months. The focus of the gatherings as well as other activities is to help the children gain social skills.


The basic aim of POLIS is to provide help to disadvantaged Roma children in a form of visits in their family. Those families are chosen and recommended by a street social worker, who is coming into Roma families, which are heaving problems. Such a family gets basic training from mentioned street social worker, who then suggests the family to co-ordinator of Polis programme. The co-ordinator provides to family her / his assistance and trained volunteer, who is during visits helping the child with the school studies, as well as other necessities (or e.g. to go over personal problems, solve problems with communication with other children, etc.).


The programme is designed for teams, consisting of at least 8 young people between the ages of 16 and 24, whose goal it is to develop a common project. The projects focus on various areas – the environment, culture, leisure time etc., but they share one common aspect: THEY MUST BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY in which the young people live. They can receive up to CZK 50,000 to cover costs connected to the project, and they work as volunteers.

Volunteer Centre is the programme’s local partner in the Ústí region.


The aim of the programme is to motivate secondary school students in the Ústí region to become involved in volunteering activities that are beneficial to the community in which they live. The students perform these volunteer activities above all in the form of their own voluntary mini-projects, or by helping out at a non-profit organisation.


The volunteers’ activities are dedicated to seniors – more precisely, to seniors living in retirement homes or senior homes. This activity is attractive for people who are interested in friendly relationships with seniors who are looking for personal company during their free time, or for someone to accompany them on walks. All of our Volunteers have to go through a special training and are provided with supervision, have many skills that can help them enriched their experience with the seniors. The volunteers are people of all ages and professions and do include many students from secondary schools and universities. Each volunteer are bringing piece of his or her personality, and are beneficiary not only towards the clients, but also to the staff of the retirement homes.


Main goals of the project are:

- help change societal attitudes towards seniors,
- start a discussion of seniors’ unused potential,
- improve seniors’ access to information, education and communication,
- support seniors’ active life,
- create the preconditions for the creation of senior councils and associations,
- collect data for the creation and development of meaningful follow-up projects and services for seniors.

Main activities of Volunteer Centre within this project:

- Recruitment and training of a team composed of two-generational volunteer teams – ca. 5 seniors and 10 juniors.
- Preparation and realisation of lectures for seniors by the two-generational volunteer teams.
- Preparation and publishing of a brochure containing the results of the survey, a list of seniors’ clubs and groups, project evaluation etc.
- Support to a newly established Council of Seniors in the town of Ústí nad Labem.


Each of us has surely been in a hospital as either an outpatient or visitor, possibly even has spent some time hospitalised. Thanks to the accredited “Volunteers in Hospitals” programme, patients at two departments of Masaryk Hospital learned that their hospital stay can be enriched by volunteers. The volunteers familiarised themselves with the hospital’s services in the patients’ bed ward and the department of prosthetics. Patients from a department, which the volunteer choose, can talk with the volunteers, order a little shopping, go for accompanied walks or hear the latest news from the “healthy world”.


Educational activities of the programme:

Subsequent activities were regularly offered to at least 50 organisations as well as the general public.
· The course for volunteer co-ordinators was a successful addition to the range of educational courses for representatives of non-profit organisations in the Ústí region. Thirteen participants gained new knowledge on how to prepare an organisation for new volunteers and how to have a quality programme.



Each year we give the Tinderbox award to the best volunteers from the Ústí region. The volunteers are chosen by an independent jury, which selects a number of them from candidates, nominated by NGOs or individuals from the whole Ústí region. Our gole is to point out Voluntarism as a natural and necessary part of our society, as well as to value people, who are voluntarily dedicating their time, to those, who need it.

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