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Image by Pavan Trikutam


COMANITY is a 2-year (2017-2019) Erasmus+ KA3 ‘Support for Policy Reform’ – social inclusion action coordinated by Arcola Research (UK), involving 9 European partners from the UK, Italy, Spain, Greece and Belgium over two years (2017-2019). The consortium aims to develop a community-based ‘inclusive learning ecosystem’ for marginalised and vulnerable young people by creating the conditions in which ‘hard to reach’ youth can apply their skills, talents and creativity in participation activities that improve their communities, through the “Community Animateur” programme.

The project’s vision is based on a stark observation: that the youth system is failing disadvantaged and marginalised young people. Increasing demand for youth services, reflecting high youth unemployment, increasing NEET rates and growing social exclusion are set against significant cuts in social and welfare services as a result of the ‘economic crisis’. This has led to a reduction in the level and quality of service supply, and a lack of credibility in mainstream institutions.

One way of addressing this problem is for youth services to increase their intake of volunteers, particularly from excluded communities. However, due to lack of time, money, motivation and trust, marginalised young people are less likely to volunteer. What’s more, many youth workers and current volunteers lack the necessary skills to engage with marginalized youth.

The Comanity project wants to fill this gap by creating a new role for youth work: the “Community Animateur”. The programme aims at recruiting and training young people from marginalised communities to carry out this role, as well as existing youth workers.

These new actors will represent a new and crucial point of mediation and integration. The objective is therefore dual: getting youth services to become more engaging towards disadvantaged youth; getting marginalised youth to become more engaged in youth work. This will help to provide a credible and trusted source of support to help hard to reach young people realise their potential and play an active role in improving their communities.

Main outputs:

  • Competence Framework: identifies the key competences needed to develop the Community Animateur role and provides an assessment tool for youth workers and volunteers

  • Technical Platform and Learning Village: combines OER resources with user-generated knowledge to support and maximise learning

  • Training programme: combines self-directed learning on-line with collaborative learning involving the COMANITY team

  • Evaluation toolkit: uses a “Theory of change” approach and embeds evaluation in the project throughout its life cycle

  • Transferability and Replication toolkit: provides a clear guide to how the programme and tools can be accessed and autonomously used after the end of the project, based on the pilot test


Coordinator: Arcola Research – UK


Partners: Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) – Spain; Comune di Perugia – Italy; – Greece; Borgorete – Italy; LLLPlatform – Belgium; Docklands Outreach – UK; Mind2Innovate – Greece; Documenta – Spain


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