What I (Kate)  enjoy most about my work as placements director is getting to know each volunteer as we work together through their placement preparation. As all returned volunteers will know, we provide loads of information and also ask for rather a lot … this exchange  and attention to detail is what makes for a successful volunteer experiences … a ‘win-win’ situation.

a win-win situation

a win-win situation

It’s really encouraging to know that more and more potential volunteers are taking to time to do their research and consider their options carefully.

I shall let them speak for themselves – in their initial applications: Read the remainder of this entry »

….volunteered that is, I’m off to Peru in July to spend 32 days working with crees the people and places partner in Peru, to be honest I didn’t know if there was anything I could do in Peru but after Kate spoke to Crees there is apparently quite a lot I can do!






I will be based at the Manu Learning Centre in the Amazon rain forest not bad is it!

Read the remainder of this entry »

Pam has recently returned from a month in the bio-hotspot of the Amazonian rainforest of Peru - below is a photo of Pam and one of her co-volunteers, Georgie … and an article about Pam’s experience reported in her local Bridport newspaper …

co-volunteers and (almost) neighbours

co-volunteers and (almost) neighbours


“It took a 6,000 mile journey to Peru for Lyme Regis student Georgie to get acquainted with West Dorset ‘neighbour’ Pam, who runs a Bridport bed and breakfast and found herself sharing a room with 18-year-old Georgie – asking the usual ‘where are you from?’ questions.

She didn’t expect to hear the young student lived in Lyme Regis.”




the article continues: Read the remainder of this entry »

I realise that some people have already let us know whether or not they are coming to our next volunteers’ meeting and social … to whom we say ‘thank you and we’re looking forward to seeing some new and some familiar faces’.

However, we really need to have a good idea of how many people to expect so that we can make plans and confirm our venue … Please let us know by Friday 25th April if you plan to come and join us for this latest informal get-together !

as ever - the kitchen is THE place to be!

as ever – the kitchen is THE place to be!



Take a look at the following links for reports of previous events: Faversham in the winter … Chester … Faversham in the summer … Chippenham …


PLEASE take a few moments to check your diaries and think about what you’ll be missing if you’re not there:


an ‘at home’ locale in Dianne’s house – with the Dorset coast not far away; a thoroughly informative afternoon; finding out more about our projects abroad; meeting other volunteers – some who have already returned from their placements and have lots of news to share; the stimulating company of like-minded people – of all ages and from all walks of life; a few drinks and nibbles to sustain you … oh yes, and meeting Sallie and me as well as Dianne and Nigel …

The next opportunity for a people and places get-together won’t be until  November ! so please let us know as soon as possible and definitely by Friday 25th April if you plan to come and join us – email kate@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk

I waved bye bye to a sunny Port Elizabeth where I left The Calabash team hard at work with volunteer Anke. You can see my Port Elizabeth post here 

Monga, Nelson,Anke and Paul deep in debate

Monga, Nelson,Anke and Paul deep in debate










After a pretty bumpy flight to Johannesburg I arrived late morning at Lebo’s Backpackers – our local partners in Soweto where we work with Sizanani community project. 672 Sizanani - lunchtime









My it was wet – biblical rain had been falling for 10 days – but this was my first trip to Soweto (Dianne had previously visited see her report here) and I was determined to see something of this very special city. So I set off in a tuk tuk with Isaac…… Read the remainder of this entry »

Gede Special School


comfortable children in class

comfortable children in class

Last month I returned to Kenya to re-visit Gede Special School and to meet up again with our local partners Damian and Ken.  I last went to Kenya in 2012, right in the middle of the Kenyan teachers’ strike, so although I had visited the school before and met the Head-teacher, I had not met any of the staff or children or had the chance to see the school in action.  This trip, I went there with Yvonne – I had volunteered with her in The Gambia last spring and she was to be our first volunteer at Gede.  I was only able to stay there for two weeks; Yvonne stayed for a month and I was really jealous of her being able to spend more time at this lovely school.

Read the remainder of this entry »

‘who am I?’

digg del.icio.us TRACK TOP
By kate | Filed in project background | No comments yet.

this is a wonderful poem – so good, in fact, that I’ve just sent it to our local Saint Lucia partners for some of the projects they work with, and to our Kenya partners to share with Gede School

not a disability

not a disability

” Just had a really heartwarming recommendation on Linked In - Sallie blushes but proud of our work! P&PLogosmall_120px

“Sallie is one of the most passionate people I have met. She and her company stand for sustainability, transparency and honesty. She is running one of the most successful Volunteer companies from this perspective and I wish there would be more companies driven by the honest motivation of helping others. Sallie is even working every minute of her free time to campaign for ethical and sustainable volunteerism and child protection. Many people benefit from her advice and work, which goes far beyond volunteerism and running successful her company. Sallie has helped me a lot with her expertise, experience and personal advice for my campaigns and studies on volunteerism

Volunteer val who has already volunteered with us in nepal has just returned from Saint Lucia working at Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre – here are some of the many many photos she has!

But first Val says ”

“Would I recommend Volunteering?

Absolutely!   The experience is unforgettable from the total immersion in the local life, meeting many different and interesting people at the school, in the town, shops, markets etc, to under- standing and learning so much about another culture whilst supporting and helping out in the placement.


I have also formed long-standing friendships as a result of volunteering and the travelling that this involves becomes much more meaningful and enjoyable. It can be a very tiring experience but uplifting and fulfilling.  I always return home with no regrets and lots of very special memories.”











““Please, please ask questions,” says Sallie Grayson, programme director at volunteer tour operator People and Places,2014_APRIL_cover-cb1395178291

a winner at the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. “There are still way too many unethical or poorly managed volunteer organisations operating. We believe volunteering can be a win-win for volunteers and the community they seek to serve — but people must be put in the right places. So there needs to be a lot of information shared by all parties. If you can reserve a place on a volunteer programme simply by providing contact details and your credit card number, and if you don’t know where exactly you’ll be working and what you’ll be doing, ask yourself: should I be volunteering with that organisation?”

The People and Places website has a section entitled ‘you need the answers’, highlighting some of the key questions a potential traveller should ask of their volunteer organisation. Among these are: ‘I’m only going to be there for a few weeks — how can my input be of any real use?’; ‘When, how and where is my money spent?’; and ‘Will you advise me about local culture and how I should behave?’ 1. Community development in Manú National Park, Peru: People and Places Work with communities in this Amazonian biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join GRO W, a sustainable initiative to boost local incomes, improve child and adult health and divert activity away from environmentally damaging sources of income.

Read the whole article here 

Volunteers with building, horticulture, organic and microculture skills are particularly welcome.