Permanent Values in a Changing World

Active Citizenship through Active Learning


DHEF became involved in a number of projects with European organisations that have a similar ethos to ourselves. These facilitate the sharing of knowledge and new, often better, ways to support youth and adult programmes and non-formal education. 



Synergy of Adult Education and Youth Work: Bridging the Intergenerational Gap


DHEF's 2014 workshop gave the European partners an opportunity to share knowledge, experience and ideas that would help promote active aging through a more meaningful involvement in society. On completion participants left with the clear conviction that we are never too old to learn and listening to each other can often be the most engaging way to share lifelong learning.

Alex explains, "We mustn't forget the richness of older people's life experiences and must make the effort to engage them in new conversations as we are never too old to learn!"

The workshop included representatives from different cultures and mixed age groups and considered successful educational models that have worked for both youth and adult groups.The group developed a bank of practical ideas to promote active citizenship through volunteering and social work.


"It was a joy to see how much good work is going on in so many places." (Sarah)



Citizens on the Go! Participation models for Active Leadership


In 2013, DHEF joined with European partners to share know-how and experiences among educators, volunteers and learners that would improve adult education provisions, promote active citizenship and help individuals find employment during a period of economic hardship.

The UK hosted the second of twelve workshops that took place across Europe.  This one focused on learning about the opportunities offered by the outdoors and learning from nature.

Through outdoor and classroom activities, 'Citizens on the Go! ' empowered participants to take a leading role in encouraging social involvement and active aging pursuits.

The objectives of the workshp were to:

  • Improve the skills of adult educators;
  • Equip educators and learners with resources to engage in active aging through more meaningful involvement in society;
  • Introduce innovative approaches to adapt adult education courses offered;
  • Provide professional skills to serve local communities especially through volunteering; and 
  • Contribute to European integration through the collaboration of the partners and exchange of best-practices.


'This has been an amazing experience that has given me the incentive to encourage others to be more active.' Chelo



Give to Gain

Give to Gain aimed to engage young people aged 16-30, in innovative volunteering projects that would offer opportunities for personal growth and provide training that built skills.

UK participants shared their learning with volunteers in partner organisations in Sweden, Slovenia, Ireland and Spain, which were all doing similar activities with a slightly different cultural flavour.

The experience of those involved was shared through FaceBook, Twitter, a blog and through the website that they set up for the project.

See for yourself  - click here


People and places...

The volunteering focused on 3 areas that enhance a sense of Citizenship:

Befriending - visiting and supporting the elderly, immigrants and homeless

Stewardship - media, social media and project management that gave young people a chance to be involved in decision making and have ownership of their projects, while embracing the latest technological trends,

The environment - sustainability, recycling and gardening. Communities are made up of people and places.


Looking forward

In February participants from each participating country joined together at Hazelwood House, Scotland, for debates, workshops and inspiration.  They presented their experiences and looked for a way to advance the aims of the project.

Chiara, one of the UK leaders explains, "Skilled volunteeers can set up projects that produce a meaningful change in their communities.  This is the legacy we want to leave: good practice for young volunteers."