The project in Graz aims at developing a training curriculum for senior volunteers interested in conducting voluntary visiting services for older people at a high risk of social exclusion (e.g. isolated people, members of socially and financially disadvantaged groups, such as older migrants, older women). Voluntary visitors will be trained to transfer information to senior citizens, investigate their concerns and requirements and help to lead an active and independent life. The visits are a low-threshold but intensive measure and will be announced previously by mail and scheduled upon response. They are based on sharing information about offers of possibilities and concerns, and on completing a questionnaire directed at the City of Graz.
Five European countries are involved in the project. In cooperation with the Seniors’ Office and the Volkshilfe Styria, queraum is responsible for the coordination, the monitoring and the evaluation of the project as well as for its representation to the public. Furthermore, a regional partnership will be established, in which social partners, seniors associations, politically relevant stakeholders and other relevant actors are gathered to participate actively in the development of the training curriculum and feedback on the project process.
Seniors are empowered to actively take part in community life and help others in doing so. The learning tools and materials at the five pilot locations which are published as separate volumes, are mainly directed at adult education bodies and experts to foster their transfer to other locations in Europe. The procedures of conceptualising and implementing the measures are published as “Guidelines for Actions: Empowering seniors to take part in community life in Europe“ also for other interested parties, like government officials as seniors associations. These Guidelines provide an insight into how such training curricula may be developed in a different local or regional setting.