Promoting volunteering to the over50s

Europe’s ageing population has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be harnessed to benefit future generations; however this is at risk of being lost as older people face social exclusion. Part of Europe’s 2020 Strategy seeks to address this issue by focusing on the sustainability of knowledge and experience. This strategy is relevant to all sectors of our society.

Research across Europe has revealed that many people over the age of 50 are socially isolated and don’t participate in cultural activities or in the civic life of their community. Since 2011 (European Year of Volunteering), volunteering has been promoted as a solution for social inclusion and intergenerational cohesion, however there are still barriers that prevent over-50s from taking part.

Ciceron is a European partnership project which aims to explore over 50’s attitudes to volunteering and discover what really motivates them to volunteer. In many European countries the present system relies on self-motivated volunteers, who consider their contribution to be meaningful to both themselves and their community. Ciceron wants to provide a way for organisations to take a more active role in attracting and sustaining their volunteers on a long term basis by offering adult learning programmes.

Ciceron’s main objective is to develop a tool that can be used by volunteering organisations to recognise and validate the key skills which are gained or consolidated through volunteering. It will provide a structured system of personalised learning outcomes for older people, without being to rigorous or intimidating. The aim is to offer a personal added value in volunteering by logging achievements and tracking improvements over time. Eventually this will ensure long term, sustainable participation in volunteering programmes, and will improve the performance of the seniors as volunteers in a role suited to them.

Runtime: 2012 - 2014
Program Scheme: Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union


Sub-Program: Grundtvig
Website: CICERON and Institute of Educational Science