please don’t let negative press put you off volunteering

By Sallie Grayson. Filed in good and bad practice, newsletters  |  
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people and places was founded to make volunteering a better experience for volunteers and the communities they work with – we decided the best way to campaign for better was through example.

We believe in the power of well matched and well prepared volunteers – we believe the overwhelming majority of people want to do good….but we also see the damage being done in communities where poorly thought out, managed and monitored programmes are being run. We believe volunteers and the communities they seek to serve are often exploited – and they deserve BETTER.

Our plan was always to campaign FOR not AGAINST

but

….and it’s a big but…..

……the press love a negative story – the only way we could get the word out there was by taking part in stories about the damage that irresponsible volunteer programmes can do, so we have become known for campaigning AGAINST.

Where’s this ramble going? you ask….

Last month I (Sallie) was at WTM and took part in a panel to discuss the very issue above – how do we (organisations that have responsibility to volunteers and communities at the heart of our organisations) let potential volunteers know that there is great work going on around the world that needs and would so benefit from your skills and expertise. The turn out was so heart warming – local organisations, travel companies, governments and yup even the press – we decided we needed an organisation that stands for better volunteer experiences for everyone…….

Watch this space … I am excited … maybe, just maybe, we can start to put a positive message out there about volunteering abroad.

So what’s my point …..well I will close with 5 points ( have no sense of proportion, me)

  1. Please, please volunteer – your skills, experience and friendship can and do make a difference.
  2. The press always want negative stories -we, people and places, have decided we will only participate in an article from now on IF the journalist is prepared to detail some positives too – I for one see our profile dropping like a stone!
  3. That said we will continue to expose bad practice – too many local communities and volunteers are still being exploited.
  4. There are great organisations out there doing wonderful work that need your support – please ask us – if we can point you in the right direction (and you don’t have to choose us) we will.
  5. repeat NO.1

for further info take a look at

To campaign or not to campaign

Better Volunteering

changemakers Sallie talks at the end of this video 

please do contact us if you have any questions – or even better would like to write for us about your experience.

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