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Posted on Jul 31, 2012

Ever Considered Volunteering in the UK?

Ever Considered Volunteering in the UK?

family travel blog, life on the road with kids, travel with kids, world travel with kids, world travel with children, the nomadic family, budget world travel, framily travel tips, RTW family travel, 2012 best travel blogs, family travel southeast asia with kids, famiy travel central america with children, family travel south america with kids, annapurna circuit with children, life on the road malaysia, rtw family travel, rtw family travel peru, rtw family travel cambodia, rtw family travel ecuador, rtw family travel panama, rtw family travel costa rica, rtw family travel colombia, rtw family travel vietnam, rtw family travel thailand, rtw family travel south east asia, life on the road RV, philippines, malaysia, rtw family travel nepal, rtw family travel indiaSo when we hit the road and left Israel, we were looking for a deeper purpose for this journey.  And then it hit us, volunteer, dah!!!  So we started to look into volunteering in places on our route but… yes but we discovered that volunteering actually cost money, a lot of it. We were all puzzled by this discovery.  So let me understand, I’m coming over to HELP and I have to PAY you??  It reminded me what Tom Sawyer did with the kids who wanted to paint the fence.  He made it look cool and then he actually could “charge” for it. We did not want to be one of those kids who pays to “paint the fence”.  We kept looking and looking into this and actually found that you can do so much without paying a dime.  We based our journey on free volunteering and not only did we not pay but we got great things in return such as cheap food and accommodations, free jungle expeditions, be part of great communities and much more.

On our travel, we had the opportunity to meet more families who love the idea of volunteering and not only on the road but also back at home. One great family is the Bartholomew family who not only plan to travel in Europe but also took the time to volunteer in the UK.

The Bartholomew family had done two different kinds of volunteering in the UK. The first one, they participated in a local organic farm (http://unstonegrange.co.uk/organic-garden/) where there was a volunteer day each week  where in exchange for some help in the gardens you were given lunch and at the end of the day you could take some produce home. The community was  lovely and they enjoyed  their precious time there. The tasks were varied and they  did digging, picking apples and pressing apples to make juice. On the day they made juice they were able to enjoy fresh apple juice made the week before with their lunch. Fresh pressed apple juice is just amazing compared to what you can get in the shop!
The second type of volunteering was at the RSPB (royal society for the protection of birds) which is a nature reserve in the UK.  Anyone can sign up as an adult volunteer but  there are family days where you actually bring your kids to be part to this cause.  The experience includes pond dipping and bug hunting activities as well as crafts and the kids are able to tag along,  join the other kids, and show off what they’ve learned! This program can be an amazing opportunity for any child to explore new things and socialize with other kids as well.

Check out their travel blog. They are worth it!

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Volunteering is a great way to give something back to the community, especially to help people who are much less fortunate than us. It’s also a great activity to do as a family. Both children and adults can learn new skills, benefit from seeing a whole different side to a places. It could be the start of many lifelong friendships with the people that you meet too.

There are loads of volunteering opportunities in the UK, many of which can easily fit into spending time also traveling around and seeing the local area at the same time. There are wildlife and conservation projects, especially in National Parks like the Lake District and Peak District. If you are green fingered, you could help with community gardening initiatives or help with summer workshops and camps for kids in inner city areas. If you are interested in volunteering in the UK then check out the Friends of the Lake District and National Trust websites for more info. I particularly like the idea of re-building drystone walls or pathway building on the fells.

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If you are thinking of heading to the UK to volunteer somewhere like the Lake District then visit http://www.sykescottages.co.uk/lake-district-holiday-cottages.html for self catering accommodation. Sounds very cool.
Have you volunteered somewhere amazing, like the Bartholomew Family? Found that anywhere in the globe, you can find the way to help others? We have.

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Photo Attribution

Drystone walls http://www.flickr.com/photos/24481894@N08/3453098587/

The Lake District http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexwhite/179618668/

 

5 Comments

  1. Interesting posting., I’ve participated on a Workaway in the States and Canada (though it’s got a world-wide reach…) but for some reason haven’t thought about volunteering on my ‘doorstep’, as it were….deffo some ideas worth thinking about!! :))

  2. Fab post and thank you for sharing our experiences so far! Volunteering is a big thing for us and something I want to do more of with our travels, but like you don’t want to pay for it!

    I’m going to have a proper read of all your experiences now too.

    • I am glad you like the post. in deed, we would not pay for volunteer work. we know of many who do but it bothers us a lot that “someone” is getting fat checks from these so called “projects”. thank for sharing your story with us!

  3. This is amazing!! I grew up reading as much British literature as I could get my hands on. Actually, in high school, instead of forcing me to read the “required” books that my public schooled piers were reading, my let me design my own British literature curriculum.

    Yet, unbelievably, I have never been to the U.K.!! Crazy I know. It’s definitely in my future though.

    I have heard really good things about volunteering through WWOOF International. My dream (which will become reality) is to spend several months “wwoofing” around England.

    http://www.wwoofinternational.org/

    • sounds amazing dear mikaela. what a treat to get to know you through the sites. thanks for the footprints and the ongoing discussion. you will do it all on your bucket list and tons more you didn’t even know you were meant to. love the plan you own curriculum. i can totally see you loving and thriving on that. i love you. gabi

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