A country with no shortage of history and culture, the UK is dotted with metropolitan cities, ancient buildings, castles and cathedrals.
Volunteers in the UK work in schools, camps and community centres. While qualified staff are always present, fresh, energetic young volunteers are crucial in providing students, campers, program participants and residents with a much needed friend and role model.
Schools Assistant placements are at preparatory schools for 7 to 13 year olds, senior schools for 13 to 18 year olds, or schools which combine some or all of these. Many are single-sex schools. Volunteers are usually based in the boarding houses or PE/sports departments, but most schools try to give volunteers a varied timetable.
Outdoor Camp Assistant placements vary from big organisations with a large number of seasonal staff, to small family run operations. Volunteer tasks include leading group activities such as archery, ropes or canoeing. Overseeing team building games and undertaking some general cooking, gardening and cleaning duties is also required.
Community Volunteer placements are varied and work can take place in care homes, in-homes or centres working with homeless youth. Volunteer duties in the residential care placements may involve assisting with the day-to-day personal care of residents, household maintenance and leading various activities (arts & crafts, sports, music and other outings).
With Schools Assistant placements, hosts provide volunteers with their own room in the boarding house and food is supplied by the school canteen.
With Outdoor Activity and Caring placements, accommodation varies but usually comprises of a shared house or flat. Some placements provide food, while others set up a system of self-catering for volunteers.
Is it for me?
An ever-popular destination, undertaking a placement in the UK will allow you to bypass the predictable tourist trail and experience the culture like a local. You will need to be hard working, unafraid of taking on responsibility and prepared to throw yourself into your placement and local life. While placements differ greatly, the need for motivated volunteers with a fun-loving nature is a constant. You’ll be surprised how the bonds you form with the people under your care will enrich both your life and theirs.
Placements are scattered all throughout England as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland.
There are plenty of opportunities to travel. If placed within a school, volunteers will be able to travel during the school holidays and at the end of their placement. With all other placements the opportunity to travel will be at the end of the placement.
The British Isles are a gateway to Europe, with excellent transport links to the continent and to Ireland. There are rugged mountains in Wales and Scotland, pristine lakes in the Lake District, beautiful, historic towns and picture postcard perfect rolling hills dotted with livestock.
London is a magnet, a real cultural and cosmopolitan centre that is not to be missed.