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European Seniorforce Day: Harnessing the Power of Senior Volunteers

19/07/2012
European Seniorforce Day: Harnessing the Power of Senior Volunteers

The number of people over 60 is rising fast – in Europe and all over the world. Does that mean that we will be living in less vibrant communities no longer capable of meeting new challenges or providing good opportunities for young and old alike? Certainly not.

People in their sixties or over may be retired, but they have plenty to offer their families and communities. But much of this potential is still largely untapped. A 2008 Flash Eurobarometer survey found that almost three quarters of Europeans who had not yet retired would consider participating in community or volunteer work after retirement. However the actual proportion of retired people who do this is much lower.

There are so many problems to be tackled in our societies – and so much talent and experience in the older generations. The key question is how to mobilise this formidable force for the benefit of people of all ages? The idea behind European Seniorforce Day is to come up with answers to that question.

Every year, on 1 October, countries all over the world celebrate the International Day of Older Persons. So this year, in the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, public authorities and volunteer organisations all over Europe are invited to devote one day – either 1 October or any other day in October – to find new ways of engaging senior volunteers and making the most of their contributions.

There is plenty of scope for different events and activities: volunteer fairs, community action days (e.g. to improve a public space), young volunteers inviting older people to join in their activities (‘bring a buddy’) … You are bound to have other ideas of your own! Local volunteer groups could team up with local authorities to organise these events and to spread the word through the local media.

Share what you are doing with like-minded people all over Europe by informing the communications agency in charge of the European Year for Active Ageing 2012. Initiatives will be published on the official website.

Send an email with a short description of your planned activity to euseniorforceday@paueducation.com. Your description should include:

  • Who: organisations behind the initiative
  • What: short description of proposed activity
  • Where: country and locality or community where the activity will take place
  • When: planned date in October 2012
  • Website of the initiative or the main organisation behind it
  • Contact person
  • Email address

The specific privacy statement explains how the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion and its subcontractor use data obtained through your e-mail and how the confidentiality of such data is protected.

Need more information? Please contact euseniorforceday@paueducation.com.

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