The United Kingdom is steeped in history and dotted with ancient buildings, castles and cathedrals. An ever-popular destination, volunteering in the UK provides opportunities to explore the local area in far greater depth, as well as travel extensively in Europe nearby. Lattitude volunteers support locals within schools, camps and community centres. While qualified staff are always present, fresh, energetic young volunteers are crucial in providing students, camp-goers, program participants and residents with a much-needed friend and role model.
Placements are located in various areas in the UK, click here to view a map.
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 country like a local. While the placements differ greatly, the need for volunteers with a hard-working, fun-loving nature is a constant. You’ll be surprised at how much the bonds you form with the people under your care will enrich both your life and theirs.
Schools Assistant placements are at preparatory schools for seven to 13 year olds (some have pre-prep departments for children from three years old), senior schools for 13 to 18 year olds, or schools which combine some or all of these. The majority of schools are boarding schools however there are a small number of day schools as well. Many of the schools are single-sex schools. Volunteers are generally based in the boarding house or PE/sports department, but most schools try to give the volunteer a varied timetable.
Outdoor Activity placements vary from big organisations with a large number of seasonal young staff, to small family-run operations. Volunteer tasks include leading group activities such as rock climbing, archery, ropes, abseiling, orienteering, assault courses, canoeing, overseeing team building games and undertaking some general cooking, gardening and cleaning duties.
Caring placements are either in residential homes for adults with a variety of disabilities or in community centres for disadvantaged teenagers through to adults. Volunteer duties in the homes may involve assisting with the day-to-day care of residents, leading activities such as art, sport, and music, or taking outings to places of interests such as the theatre, seaside or local pub! In the community centres, volunteers assist paid staff to help and support homeless people who seek respite in the centre. These placements enable the volunteers to make a small but significant difference to people’s lives, often through the simple gift of sharing their time and friendship.
Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
Accommodation & food
With the majority of Schools Assistant placements, hosts provide volunteers with their own room in the boarding house and food is supplied by the school canteen. With all other 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.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a briefing camp to meet other volunteers and Lattitude staff, identify their learning needs and hear from returned volunteers.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
When you're overseas:
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- The majority of volunteers attend a two-day orientation on arrival at Reading University, while others receive an orientation upon arrival at their placement.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.
When you're back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before going overseas which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in the UK in 2014
Lattitude fees (exact costs):
|Lattitude Application Fee||$125|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$3600|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$350|
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):
|Travel Insurance (11 months)||$570|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$2700|
|Total cost (approximate)
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, purchasing any additional clothing required and arranging travel vaccinations.
Volunteers placed at a school will be able to travel during school holidays and those undertaking Outdoor Activity or Caring placements will have plenty of time to travel when the placement finishes. And there is so much to see. The UK and Ireland are jam-packed with historic cathedral cities such as Canterbury and York, picturesque medieval villages, famous urban centres (London, Manchester and Edinburgh to name a few), castles and palaces. So dense with ancient buildings and landmarks, it is a wonder there is any green space left! But there is. In fact, it is a wonderland of untouched nature with the lakes of Cumbria, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the Scottish Highlands, and the Yorkshire Dales all essential destinations.
(limited places available for 17 year olds)
|Departs in 2014:||January|
|Duration:||6 - 11 months|
(depending on placement role)
> Schools Assistant
> Outdoor Activities Instructor
> Caring Assistant
Population: 61.4 million
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) minus 9 hours
Climate: The weather can vary greatly but generally the summer months (June-August) are warm and dry and winter months (December-February) are cool and wet. Temperatures are likely to be warmer in the southern areas.
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP) in the UK and Northern Ireland, and Euro in the Republic of Ireland
“My placement is only an hour and a bit away from the amazing city of London! Some of the duties I do at the school include watching out for the kids during break times, taking games (PE) sessions with the girls and working with the younger boys in the boarding house. The experience has been great fun and the school is so pretty and very English!”
Jacqui Temlett, Lattitude Schools Assistant