volunteering is really effective when it’s done well – we are cheesed off with the “bad” news!

By Kate Stefanko. Filed in good and bad practice, volunteer stories, volunteering in the news  |  
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Kate writes:

You’ve probably noticed a lot of media coverage about volunteering (or ‘voluntourism’) in recent months … and the vast majority of such coverage takes a decidedly negative or sensationalist slant and concentrates on everything that’s wrong with volunteering …

Well – here at people and places, we’re getting a bit cheesed off  with all the ‘bad news’ coverage and want to reaffirm that when volunteering is done well, it can actually be GOOD NEWS … for volunteers and for local people.

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(Years ago, when my children were young, there was a marvellous show on children’s television called “Gran’s Good News” where the eponymous elderly newsreader told interesting stories with a positive slant and the feel-good factor was strong … we hope our newsletter achieves much the same!)

We are genuinely proud of our straight-forward and honest approach, and our ethical and responsible way of working … and we know from experience that well-prepared and well-matched volunteers CAN and DO make for effective skills-share.

 

Here are a few recent quotes from our volunteers, people of widely different ages and backgrounds, with differing skills and experience to share …

… before their placements:

“Thank you so much for all the care you take to ensure that we volunteers have a smooth run. You make a great team.” Nicki

“Kate has briefed me well. Dianne is popping in to meet me in a couple of weeks; and Julie kindly gave me a telephone call recently.” Richard

“The pre-departure preparation was excellent, really thorough. Firstly, Kate at people and places checked my skills, my experience and what I wanted to get out of the placement. Then we discussed suitable placements before agreeing on Emmanuel and beginning the form filling (CRBs, doctor’s letter, checking I had insurance and the like). I was supported throughout this process. Kate and I communicated predominantly using email, though I always felt comfortable to call her. I was fully informed and guided throughout my preparation.” Jane

… while they’re there:

“Here I am in sunny Nepal (it’s raining at present tho’) but I’m delighted to be here – in more ways than one. Last night thee was an earthquake measuring five points on the Richter.  Guess who slept through it.  I am being afforded a hero status today and intend to cash in on same. The family I am with are wonderful.  I really am part of the family – right down to Tashi, the 28-month old daughter of daughter Dawa.” Peter

… and after they come back:

“as I approached retirement, I began to look around for fulfilling ways to use my accumulated years of experience … a friend suggested I look into volunteer work overseas … thank goodness I found people and places! They’re professional, utterly trustworthy and ethical – and my placement was thoroughly rewarding, both for me and for the local community.” Sue

“a volunteer’s top tips”  Natalie

“The fact that my skills as a tourism professional and researcher matched local needs made my volunteer placement hopefully a win-win situation.” Anke

So – although I’m not actually a gran, I’m certainly old enough to be one … people and places, our inspiring local partners, our inspired volunteers … Thank you everyone for being part of “OUR GOOD NEWS”!

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