Practices, experiences, and challenges of the district centres of Ajka, Keszthely, and Zirc in volunteer recruitment

Henriette Rita Galambos


One of the main objectives of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture programme was to develop volunteerism in cultural events, to increase volunteer activity, thus, to raise the social prestige of volunteering in the region. The aim of the case study was therefore to provide a snapshot of the cultural n activities, programmes, the status of volunteering, and the achievements and challenges in three district seats: Ajka, Keszthely and Zirc. In the case study, a face-to-face structured interview method was used, and seven main topics – cultural, civic, status of volunteering, implementation of concrete programmes with volunteers, volunteer- coordination, motivation of potential and existing volunteers, evaluation of achievements, identification of challenges and vision - were used to examine the objectives set. Our results show that volunteers are intrinsically linked to the cultural activities of the municipalities studied. Although there were differences in the age of volunteers, their motivation and their involvement, the muicipalities rely on them, and in many cases, the cultural programmes would not be accomplished without them. Local stories of volunteering have become important precedents, reference points, and elements of a shared memory. In all three municipalities, engaging youth in volunteering has been a challenge, although local cultural events are considered the main arenas to complete Community Service required by schools. Their outlook was generally positive; however, it was considered as dependent upon the actual economic situation of the towns, cultural funding, and community activity.

Keywords: Veszprém-Balaton European Capital of Culture 2023, Ajka, Keszthely, Zirc, culture, volunteering, volunteer coordination