The United Kingdom is an amazingly diverse country. While it may be the centre of the English-speaking world, it welcomes new cultures, customs, and languages everyday. Ancient castles and cathedrals meet modern cities and towns in one of our most popular volunteering destinations. You’ll be making a difference in the lives of students, camp-goers, program participants and residents with the rest of Europe at your doorstep.
Is it for me?
If you are looking to volunteer in an English speaking country with a culture similar to Australia, the UK may be the right place for you. You’ll have the opportunity to create an energetic and positive environment for young students, camp-goers, program participants and residents. Exercise your good communication skills and leadership qualities by becoming a role model for those who need it most. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other hardworking volunteers from all over the world, explore the British culture like a local, and gain a sense of independence during this longer placement.
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.
There are some specialty school placements available as well. These are schools which cater for children who have learning disabilities, or physical disabilities such as those who are deaf or visually impaired and volunteers will be asked to providing additional support to individual students. We also have a nursery placement for pre-school age children.
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.
Community placement volunteers work with local staff to help and support young homeless clients who seek respite in the centre. Placements vary in the level of challenge and responsibilities, but are extremely rewarding, as volunteers are able to make a significant difference to people’s lives.
Caring placements are in residential homes for adults with a variety of disabilities. Volunteer duties 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!
Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
|Lattitude fees (exact costs)|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$4300|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$370|
|Travel costs (approximate)|
|Travel Insurance (11 months):||$545|
|UK National Health Service Fee||$350|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$2290|
|Total cost (approximate)||$8442|
*Travel insurance is quote by CoverMe at a special 20% off original premium cost!
Based on a 11 month placement, this is less than $25 per day!
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, arranging travel vaccinations, purchasing any additional clothing and travel within the country.
Accommodation & Food
Accommodation for Schools Assistant placements are provided by hosts as their own room in the boarding house with food being 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.
While the cost of the experience includes food and accommodation, this placement offers an additional living allowance to volunteers in the form of pocket money to cover your day to day expenses.
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.
- Volunteer are briefed in person or in an online session to prepare them for their placement ahead.
- Volunteers complete their own Learning and Development Plan which helps to identify goals and personal skills they would like to develop, and these areas of development are followed up throughout their time away.
- 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 in central London, 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.
UK Placement departures & positions:
|Position||Start Months||Placement Length||Minimum Age|
|Schools Assistant||January||12 months||17 (very limited for under 18)|
|Outdoor Activities Instructor||February or March||7-11 months||18|
|Community||January||6-12 months||17 (very limited for under 18)|
Areas Around Northern & Southern England, Scotland, and Ireland
You’ll have the opportunity to travel on breaks during placement as well as once your placement finishes. Explore the famous city centres of the United Kingdom; Time travel from the stages of Shakespeare in London to the home of the industrial revolution in modern Manchester. Tour the homes of literary legends and the Isles of Aran in Ireland. The Scottish highlands are not to be missed, but be sure to swing through Edinburgh and Glasgow to get an urban experience. Don’t forget the stunning Welsh coastlines and Snowdonia national park. The UK is so packed with places to go and sites to see, you’ll never be at a loss for a new adventure. Did I mention that the rest of Europe is just a Chunnel ride away?