It’s been just under a week since I returned from the Annual Network Meeting in Rome and I still can’t get over the excitement of both the event and the opportunity to explore Rome itself.
I somehow decided it best to get the 5:50 am flight and after an unknown amount of caffeine, I found myself navigating just about every type of transportation to rock up at the hotel and have a shower to make myself semi-presentable.
When I first got there I didn’t quite know what to expect, I’d seen the itinerary but you just know with a EuroPeers event you can’t quite slot the experience into an info pack. I was greeted by many new faces and a few familiar ones, it was great to see fellow UK EuroPeers Alex and Nathan getting involved as part of the training team.
The Annual Network Meeting was a great opportunity for members from all around Europe to come together and share best practice, skills, memories and gather inspiration to help forge a path forward. I learned more about projects such as the international social events (of which the UK will be one of the next hosts!) and multiple podcasts already ran by EuroPeers, and delved into how to grow these projects ourselves. We also spoke about key topics such as Inclusion and the Environment, showcasing some of the great work that has been going on both within and outside of the network, such as the School of Peace talking to us about how they’re breaking down barriers in their community using education.
The evenings were great to mix and find out more about others’ experiences with Erasmus+ and the ESC, everyone had a story to tell and it was great to hear them all. The meals were amazing but we felt we couldn’t travel to Rome and not have any pizza, thus an excursion was mounted into the city in the search of the one true pizza. I’m a bit of a fussy eater and had mine with sausage meat on it and absolutely no veg. Seeing the sites of the city was amazing too, whilst walking around the rich history would just jump out at you in forms such as of an age-old building hidden within what could appear just another vibrant cityscape.
It was great to have discussions on how we can grow the network, what we need to do this, and how we can do this. Following the meeting, there will be an ideas board feeding into a resource hub allowing EuroPeers to pool ideas and access resources such as icebreakers to assist in any sessions they wish to run. The ability to collaborate is such a key thing to EuroPeers and I’m grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to come together and look to create things as a network.
Overall it was amazing to see so many enthusiastic and inspired EuroPeers, talking about both projects they’ve done and ones we can do together in the future, it’s given me memories I’ll cherish and projects to keep me busy, so keep an eye out for the international online social event which will be arranged soon, and also for the new ideas board and resource hub we’re currently underway creating!