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A paid opportunity for Leeds volunteers in Lille

Updated: Apr 4

Are you 18-25 and from Leeds?


Do you have English as a first language and a good knowledge of French?


Would you like a paid opportunity to do voluntary work in our French sister city Lille between September 2024 and June 2025?


Then we want to hear from you!


What’s the offer?

Our sister city Lille in France, in partnership with the French association Lille Avenirs would like to recruit two young people from Leeds, aged 18-25, who have English as their first language and a good knowledge of French to take part in their international civic service volunteering programme.


The successful applicants will work in primary schools during the school term and in community hubs and holiday centres during the holiday periods.


The offer is intended to reinforce the longstanding twinning relationship between the cities of Lille and Leeds, as well as to support English language learning and intercultural activity in Lille.


How long does the programme last?

The civic service volunteer programme is minimum six months and can last up to nine months. You would be in Lille between mid-September 2024 to mid-July 2025. The length of your stay will depend on your availability.


What are the volunteers paid?

The volunteers will receive a monthly allowance of €601 (about £515) for a 25-hour week.


The project sponsors will also cover accommodation costs for an apartment in Lille as well as transport costs from Leeds to Lille for one return trip.


What would I be expected to do?

  • To contribute to the organisation and creation of English language and culture sessions.

  • To lead workshops or activities around English language and culture in primary classes during school time.

  • To help organise activities around English language and English culture in community centres and recreation centres during school holidays.

  • To propose activities and help set up English language events in Lille.

  • To promote the Lille - Leeds partnership in the Lille area, helping set up specific activities about our two cities’ relationship, occasionally participating in projects between the two cities, and linking with Lille’s international relations department.


What skills do I need?


  • A good knowledge of French

  • A positive attitude towards children

  • Social, communication skills,

  • A sense of responsibility

  • Teamwork

  • Reliability


  • Experience of running workshops for children and educational activities.


What support would I get? 

  • On-site support at each location.

  • You will be supported and encouraged to make proposals and develop the content of activities.

  • The mission includes an induction and familiarisation period in each location and preparation time for workshops.

  • The volunteer will be supported to visit similar existing activities in Lille to draw inspiration from, including the English Club by the association l’Ecole et son Quartier, fun English workshops, community centres, and other foreign language and intercultural work.

  • Training in first aid and in civic and citizenship will be provided to the volunteer.


The overall support of the volunteer will be from Lille Avenirs, who will help you set up a bank account, move into your apartment and provide other administrative support. They will also give you the opportunity to meet other volunteers.


What documents would I need?

  • A valid passport

  • A visa is required to stay in France

  • A medical certificate

  • International repatriation insurance


Why come to Lille?

Our partner city Lille is a thriving Northern French city in the region of les Hauts-de-France.


Lille is an hour from coastal cities like Dunkirk, and is close to major European cities, such as Paris (1h by high-speed TGV), Brussels (30 mins with Eurostar) and London (1h30 with Eurostar).


With more than 230,000 inhabitants, Lille is the 10th biggest city in France, but the 4th largest counting its metropolitan area. Students from all over France and the world make up a large part of its population, and the city is celebrated for its lively nightlife and numerous cultural events.


Lille has an outstanding Flemish heritage and a vibrant cultural scene. There are many historical, architectural and cultural sites to visit.


Lille was chosen as the European cultural capital by the European Parliament in 2004, which in turn inspired the municipality to create the ongoing cultural agenda for the city called Lille 3000.


Getting around the city is facilitated by an excellent public transport system made up of buses, metros, trams, trains and public bikes. Lille has a proud reputation for its hospitality, and even if the weather is sometimes a little capricious, the regional cuisine and friendly locals will surely comfort you on rainy days!


Who are the lead organisations for the programme?

The Mission Locale de Lille, Lille Avenirs, ( ) is a non-profit organisation that works for the social and professional integration of young people aged 16 to 25. Lille Avenirs offers different services to young people according to their needs and expectations, in the field of employment, training, project assistance and business creation, housing, health, mobility and international solidarity, citizenship, civic engagement and access to culture.


The International Relations Department of the Lille city council ( ) works with its numerous sister cities to develop projects and events that promote interculturality in Lille and abroad. Lille has been twinned with Leeds since 1968, sharing a past industrial tradition, enriched by immigration. The two towns have always been able to learn from each other, whether it be through events like the Lille Video Mapping Festival and Leeds Light Night, hip-hop residencies, youth exchanges and community radio shows. The International Relations Department will be in charge of linking the volunteer with schools and community centres, as well as other English language initiatives promoted by the city such as English Language Day on the 23rd of April.



How can I apply?

If you’re interested, we would like to hear from you by Thursday 18 April


Please email Leeds City Council’s International Relations team and we will send you an application form. We hope to have interviews on MS Teams or Zoom in the week commencing 22 April.



More information


More details on: or Service Civique

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