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It's a nice feeling to help just because I want to

"Volunteering is an activity that a person undertakes in their spare time, benefiting someone other than themselves or their household, and the work is done without financial compensation," says Stanislava Mináriková, who manages the volunteering program in the team of the European Capital of Culture Trenčín 2026. When talking about volunteering with young people, she adds with a smile: "So if you wash the dishes at home, that's not volunteering - it's not voluntary, and it's work for your household."

According to Mináriková, not only do organizations benefit from volunteering where people help: "It's great for all of us to have a cleaner and more beautiful environment, to live in a place where pleasant events happen and the neighborhood community is active, where people care about their city, town, and people who rely on help," she explains, adding: "Last but not least, volunteering is very beneficial for the people who get involved. They have a sense of purpose, experience something new and interesting, meet new people, and may even gain new skills."

For a Good Feeling

Eva Dvorská describes herself as a mature woman. She has two sons and works as an assistant in a nursing home. She got involved in volunteering completely by chance last year, helping out with the Pankáči festival for children. Thanks to her experience, she dared to participate in the Garage music event organized by Trenčín 2026. She says about her experience: "It's a pleasant feeling to help just because I want to. There was a great atmosphere, nice people. Simply put, people were cheerful and happy." She would recommend helping at an event to other people and would like to continue volunteering herself.

For New Experiences

"Volunteering gives life meaning. You can try out different professions and tasks, and find out what you enjoy in life. And you can find new hobbies or friends because of it," says Markéta Palivcová, who received the Heart on the Palm award as a volunteer of the Trenčín Region in the social and health field. Volunteering is no longer just about manual assistance.

Even within the framework of the European Capital of Culture, volunteers have already tried out various roles. At the aforementioned Garage event, volunteers were also responsible for collecting feedback from people at the event. "The biggest experience for me was to get a glimpse into the world of a researcher, and to play the role of one a bit during data collection," emphasizes university student Alexandra Hrnčárová.

This is confirmed by high school student Martin Daško. He found his passion in the youth parliament of the city of Prievidza, where he has been volunteering for six years. When asked what skills or experiences he has gained from volunteering so far, he starts listing: "Organizational skills, communication skills, contacts, information from various areas, finding motivation for each day, and solving problematic situations..."

Happy young woman smiling next to senior citizen

For Everyone from 15 to 100 Years Old

The benefits of volunteering for the younger generation are undeniable. But how can unselfish work attract people in their productive or even senior years? Stanislava Mináriková explains: "Volunteering breaks the routine, broadens horizons, gives a sense of purpose and usefulness. It creates beautiful intergenerational connections - older people enrich younger ones with their experiences, and vice versa, younger people help older ones keep up with the times and often seem to rejuvenate them. And, most importantly, to understand each other mutually."

You Can Get Involved Now

Volunteering is a great opportunity to engage in something meaningful. If you would like to contribute to a project of the European Capital of Culture, which won't be repeated in Slovakia, you can register now at Next, we offer the opportunity to participate in the Palacký Corso event in June, a modern urban market with a rich accompanying program.

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