Apprentice Katy's Romanian volunteering adventure!
Katy Henry (our Project Management and Business Development Apprentice) was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to volunteer in Romania last June and talks all about it in her latest blog as an Erasmus+ EuroApprentice. Check it out below!
In June 2018, I got to experience a trip of a lifetime, funded by Erasmus+ and organised by Bolton at Home.
I was one of eleven to fly over to Romania on this occasion, to help out in the Roma communities, the people who need it most. This was in conjunction with FAST Charity, a charity founded by Daniel and Ema Hristea. I had two weeks to help make a difference in any way possible, this included; creating foundations for a shower block, working with Roma children, enhancing the Community Guitar Café, and doing some finishing touches in the rooms of FAST Charity headquarters. There was always something to do and help out with, you could be sure of that!
I went over to Romania not having the largest skillset, for example, I hadn’t ever made wooden planters or dug out foundations and concreted before, but you know what, I didn’t let that phase me, I was there to learn as well as make a difference, and that’s what we all did whilst there, it was all very much a team effort, and we all had fun whilst doing so.
When I arrived back from Romania, I felt different, I was more confident, I was more willing to say yes to anything thrown my way, I started to emerge from the shell I’d put myself in. I knew I was capable of much more than I once believed, and there was more to come. There’s always room for bettering yourself and learning something new! This leads me to the next chapter.
Once sharing all of my travels to Romania with countless people, (anyone who would listen!), I was asked if I wanted to apply for a EuroApprentice Ambassador role for the Erasmus+ UK National Agency and of course I said yes, and I got that application in pronto! Luckily I was successful and was appointed in March 2019. Being a EuroApprentice Ambassador meant I could carry on sharing my own experience and letting anyone and everyone know what fantastic opportunities are out there with the help of Erasmus+ funding.
In March this year, I got to meet the other seven UK EuroApprentices and hear their stories, finding out just how varied people’s trips around Europe were. I thought everyone would have done a similar thing to what I did, I had no clue whatsoever! It was brilliant to hear there was so much variety, that means there’s something to suit everyone. This was further solidified when I got to visit Malta for the EuroApprentice Networking conference, meeting EuroApprentices from nine other countries across Europe. Again, each and every Erasmus+ funded trip undertaken by them were vastly different. However, there was one commonality amongst everyone – we had all grown and learned invaluable life lessons and we wanted to share this.
And here we are now, I’m continuing to share more of my story, encouraging others to be brave enough to go on an adventure and share their own experience, you never know what you may learn about yourself and everyone around you by taking that leap of faith. I know I’m still learning and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Interested? Click here to learn more about our 'Foundation for the Future' initiative, a new partnership which offers a range of amazing volunteering opportunities similar to those funded by Erasmus+.
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