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Project Reference:


NEETs in Needs

Our mission - transform NEETs into active European society members.



Our mission - transform NEETs into active European society members. We have "the Why", we figured out "the What", and we understood "the How". Implementing "NEETs in Needs" is the Now. The NEETs in Needs project (NEST) is a two-stage program consisting of two youth exchanges involving NEETs from the UK and Bulgaria. Just like the acronym suggests, our project's concept is a Nest. Therefore, we are convinced that its unique structure has great potential to impact a significant amount of young people - although conceived as a short-term project, it is planned to have a long-lasting impact.

The two youth exchanges are designed as a Nest, where participants have to "learn how to fly". It is a start hub, where NEETs REinforce their strengths and Rediscover their path. For this purpose, our "flyers" provide specific "Starter Strategy kits" (S-kits). They have (1) booklets containing youth opportunities within the EU institutions and agencies and explicitly designed for the occasion, (2) a 10-step detailed strategy for finding the dream job, (3) a collection of three success stories, (4) a self-assessment report to be filled throughout the process (5) an activity diary to track the "flights" our flyers took or intend to take + the experience that brought them and (6) supporting material to all activities the respective youth exchange will contain. We aim to promote employability and active participation of young people in pushing forward the idea of a stronger and united Europe, as President Juncker said in his 2018 State of the Union speech. We educate through Sports and Non-formal education methodologies to develop personal and professional skills, which will turn our flyers' inactivity into productivity. We are convinced that Sport is a universal language, which creates a strong inclusive basis and an equal start for our flyers. Europe needs qualified young people re-injected into the system because a NEET today is a leader tomorrow.

NEST's ultimate goal is to provide a smooth but quick and efficient transition.

Our expertise leads us to identify the following objectives:

  • to provide youth with fewer opportunities with an opportunity for integration and international exchange

  • to foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries

  • to give participants the opportunity to gain cross-skills, soft skills and participatory and leadership attitudes through Sport and Non-Formal Education

  • to promote the engagement of young people in the education and/or labour market

  • to stimulate young people’s spirit of initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship

  • to raise awareness of the Erasmus+ program and to spread EU core values among young people.


Activity 1 - Youth exchange

Venue: Varna (Bulgaria)

Dates: February 2020

Activity 2 - Youth exchange

Venue: Birmingham (UK)

Dates: April 2022

The participants are youngsters, who have never or rarely been going out of their local area, and moreover have never been in intercultural nature. The partners of the project shared that there are still some stereotypes, based on religion, culture, gender are obvious among the youth.

We involved participants aged between 18 and 30. We believe that this age group has benefited most from the youth exchange opportunity. The young people that were selected to participate in our project were selected on the basis of their learning and development needs. 50% of the total number of the participants is facing different obstacles, or in NEETs profile (not in employment, education or training). From our experience of delivering targeted interventions to young people over many years, we have found that the 18-30 age group is one of the most important stages of a young person's development in terms of embedding the social and educational practices that they can then carry forward into their adult lives.

The project activities were therefore carefully designed to have maximum impact on the selected participants. As outlined above, this age group is particularly impressionable (to both positive and negative external influences) and therefore presents us with an excellent opportunity to deliver a range of targeted activities that have a lasting impact on participants. We have specifically designed assessment criteria, based on which an equal number of male and female candidates were chosen. In terms of gender balance, our primary aim was to recruit and select those participants that will benefit most from the exchange, whether male or female. Through the selection process we ensured the gender balance.

The group was formed by 16 team leaders representative of the organisation and 44 youngsters with fewer opportunities who are facing economic and geographical obstacles, living in the most deprived neighbourhood of London and Sofia like Nadeshda and Fakulteta and from small, poor villages around the capital cities. For all participants with fewer opportunities, CFUK has specifically designed an original mentorship program. The idea consists in assigning a mentor to each disadvantaged candidate (mentee), who is an experienced youth leader with a solid background in youth mobility projects. By doing so, our goal is to facilitate the mentee's participation, to provide them with individual professional guidance, to create stable friendships and to allow potential work opportunities. Unless a candidate with special needs applies, no need of accompanying person is foreseen.

However, CFUK stands for equal opportunities. Therefore, we encourage participants with disabilities to apply to our NEST. CFUK and Champions Factory Bulgaria will ensure specifically developed planning for all applicants with disabilities and their potential accompanying assistants.


Due to the snowball effect concept, NEST is designed to have a great impact on local, regional, national, European and international levels.

Local level and regional level:

  • reintegration of NEETs into social activities

  • raising the employability opportunity of participants

  • considering NEET needs and developing new local policies and cooperation with local associations and experts in the subject of unemployability and early living school

  • raising the awareness of the NEETs phenomenon among youth and families

  • promoting creative thinking and reducing imposed society limitation impact on the minds of youngsters;

  • improving collaboration between formal and non-formal educators

  • implementing non-formal methods in social activities

  • raising youth workers' awareness about non-formal education.

National level:

  • raised awareness of the nations about NEETs

  • NEETs becoming a priority on the government agenda

  • encouraging and promoting social inclusion of youth

  • creating possibilities for young people to improve their quality of life.

European and international level:

  • evaluating the impact of EU youth strategy and implementing new innovative programs

  • the spread of EU core values among young people

  • an increase in mutual collaboration between formal and non-formal organisations around the world

  • an increase in cooperation between EU countries and neighbouring countries

  • creating a network of competent and active professionals in the field of youth.

Impact from our "flyers":

  • through communication and exchange of ideas and experiences, they gain the right motivation to restart and rebuild the trust in the system

  • active participation in social activities

  • gain soft skills needed for improvement of their personal and professional life

  • developed knowledge of how to create and improve a CV

  • Business planning skills

  • tolerance toward other youth NEETs who are facing the same difficulties

  • self-esteem and confidence to embrace more challenges and face them with flexibility and a spirit of innovation

  • gained new methods and skills through sport and non-formal education and put them into practice

  • shared knowledge and skills that they have learned during the project with friends, other NEETs and youth and local organisations

  • social competence and ability to work in a team and to cope with a different perspective

  • keep updated on the latest opportunities proposed by the labour market or educational system

  • understanding the importance and value of youth in the present and future society, and the benefits of the engagement

  • improved English language, presentation and opinion expressing skills as well as non-verbal communication

  • new international contacts with participants, this network can be used to implement future projects or cooperation

Impact on the two partner organisations:

  • increased competence and professionalism of employees or volunteers of partner organisations

  • gained notoriety in the local and international society which can bring opportunities for future projects and cooperation

  • active participation in reducing adverse effects of the NEET phenomenon and supporting local communities by active involvement in education, training and employment

  • the organisations will get inspired by the ideas and experiences of participants who will take an active part in the project by creating an interactive environment.

Impact on target groups (local youth organisations, the local community of participants, disadvantaged youngsters):

  • motivation to take part in local and international social development, engagement and the possibility of hiring their skills in the professional or academic system

  • development of skills such as self-reflection, self-understanding, sense of initiative and creativity

  • raising awareness of their knowledge, skills, potential and development of inner strengths

  • gaining flexibility and look for opportunities outside the local context and benefit from the labour and student mobility offered by the EU

  • knowledge of cultural values and social differences in the homeland and other countries

  • the inclusion of youngsters in social projects and sharing of opinions for encouraging each other.



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