Poland. This year Gdansk Convention Bureau (GCB) for the second time applies for the National Leader of Innovation title. This time in the category Innovative European Union Project they submit 'Volunteers for Gdansk'.
Only projects financed by the European Union or other irreclaimable, foreign fund sources will be taken under consideration. The jury will only judge projects concluded by the 31st of December 2010.
The idea of the project is to create database of volunteers who would help meeting organizers during a conference or any other event. The main goal of "Volunteers for Gdansk" was to create a friendly environment for professional meeting organizers and thus, increase the number of events held in Gdansk.
"The 'Volunteers for Gdansk' programme is getting very popular. Since the creation of volunteer database in August 2009 we registered almost 500 people," says Agata Walczak, project coordinator: "There are people of every age, eager to help and not afraid to take on challenges."
The project is unique. Between August 2009 and July 2010 over 290 volunteers took part in different events in Gdansk. They participated in: Globe Forum conference, UNICA Independent Film Festival, the Open Day Football Stadium, the World Congress of Gdansk, the European Poet of Freedom, Streetwaves, Baltic Sail Gdansk and conferences: WikiSym, Wikimania and other. A total of 21 events.
Actions taken by "Volunteers for Gdansk" helped people acknowledge that volunteering is in fact free and gratuitous work for the others. The project also tackled the stereotype which describes volunteering as helping only the weak and needy.
The results of the project were highly appreciated. Gdansk Convention Bureau received the additional funds for its continuation.
This year Gdansk Convention Bureau is again going for the victory. In 2010 GCB with Gdansk Tourist Organisation won first prize in "Innovative Organisation" category.