Information for Parents

safety information for parents about lattitude work placements abroad

A lot to consider

Taking a gap year and going overseas might be a daunting prospect, not only for your son/ daughter going but also for you, watching them go.

At Lattitude Global Volunteering, your son/daughter’s safety is our top priority. We completely understand you may have concerns and queries and are here to support you as well as your son or daughter every step of the way.

We understand there is a lot to consider when choosing the right overseas placement programme. There are many organisations offering a variety of opportunities. But knowing which ones are the most responsible is not always easy to find. We believe our values, experience and dedication to young people as a youth development charity, makes us the top choice! But don’t just take our word for it, please feel free to read the blogs and stories of our volunteers

Staying in Touch

Sometimes nothing beats a conversation, particularly if you have specific questions and queries! So if  you would like to speak to one of the team then please do call us on our mainline number, 0118 959 4914. We are here to answer your questions and to give your more information about Lattitude Global Volunteering to reassure you of your son/daughter’s safety and to highlight the benefits of a Lattitude Global Volunteering placement.

If your son / daughter has decided to take a volunteering placement with Lattitude you will be kept in the loop as much as possible. Volunteers are invited to bring parents along to pre-departure briefings and all parents / guardians receive a full information pack designed for them. This includes all the relevant contact information throughout the Lattitude support network, so you can contact the right person, if you need to. It is also a chance for you to meet the team from the UK.

What support network is there to ensure my son/daughter's safety?

We have a strong support network in place to ensure your son/daughter’s safety throughout their gap year. Once your son/daughter arrives in country, they will be met by their in-country Country Manager and will attend an in-country orientation. Along with a host mentor at their placement, the Country Manager will support your son/daughter throughout the length of their placement. We also have a 24/7 emergency phone line for your son/daughter‘s use as well as your own, in the event of an emergency.

How can I communicate with my son/daughter whilst they are on placement?

With the ever growing access to the internet, there are many ways to stay in contact with your son/daughter wherever they are placed. On some placements, your son/daughter may have access to a phone or the internet and will not be far from a town where they can easily get access to both. You will also be able to contact your son/daughter’s Country Manager in-country or their Volunteer Coordinator here in the UK, should you need to, as well as our 24/7 emergency phone line. And you can always write letters which can be a great way to communicate with your son/daughter in more remote areas and can add to their experience as well as being something they can keep forever. Obviously the exact communication channels will depend upon where they are placed, but we will inform you in advance of what is available and what previous volunteers have done.

Where does the money go?

Lattitude Global Volunteering is a registered youth development charity and we work very hard to keep the costs of volunteering to a minimum. We do not make a profit out of our placements but we do have to cover the costs of staff, project administration, office administration and overseeing our programmes. The fee volunteers pay helps cover the cost of:

  • Processing applications and holding personal interviews nationwide.
  • Assigning a paid member of staff to support them in pre-departure preparation.
  • Comprehensive interview and matching process.
  • Pre-departure events, briefing materials and guides.
  • Food and accommodation for the duration of placements*
  • 3-5 day in-country orientation course.
  • In-country staff to support your child throughout the duration of their placement
  • Fully comprehensive support network for volunteer
  • Volunteer pocket money in SOME placements**
  • 24 hour telephone assistance.
  • Research and development of our partnerships with placements and hosts.
  • Running Debriefing session upon a volunteer’s return.

*Food and accommodation provided by host in conjunction with Lattitude agreement. Some hosts in more poorly deprived areas may require extra money for food contribution. Volunteers are made aware of situations well in advance

**Pocket money provided by host in conjunction with Lattitude agreement. Available in some placements in better resourced countries such as those in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

Pocket money is not generally available in placements in developing countries. If volunteers are to receive pocket money they will be made aware in advance. It is entirely at the discretion of the host placement and what they can afford. It is not a ‘payment’ or reflection of work done, however, we have established guidelines of appropriate allowance with our hosts.

Lattitude publishes its expenditure annually, as per requirement from the Charities Commission. The chart below gives a summary breakdown of the 2018/19 fees that volunteers pay to Lattitude, as submitted to the Commission. These figures are for the organisation as a whole. Different sending office and host country costs will vary.

Volunteer Recruitment (11%):

  • Maintaining websites, attending events, producing marketing literature, running campaigns and maintaining suitably qualified staff to deliver this function

Volunteer support pre-departure and return (30%):

  • administering the Lattitude application, interview and assessment process and making volunteer offers
  • enabling volunteers to make informed choices by providing information about the country of their placement, the placement itself, their volunteer role and how to access further information
  • providing accurate and clear briefing information prior to departure
  • supporting volunteers through the pre-departure stage
  • providing opportunities for returned volunteers to reflect on their experience, continue to be involved with Lattitude and relate their learning and development to future career opportunities
  • maintaining sending offices and appropriate staff in key countries to deliver the service 

Volunteer support on placement (54%):

  • selecting appropriate communities in which to operate and selecting appropriate partners to provide and support volunteer placements
  • conducting regular, proportionate risk analyses to inform our operating procedures and training
  • informing volunteers of inherent risks, how to keep themselves safe and how to access support should they need it, in line with the Lattitude ‘Ladder of Support’
  • delivering orientation
  • providing appropriate support for issues, incidents and emergencies, to both volunteers and placements
  • encouraging volunteers to understand and maximise their learning and development journey
  • visiting countries and placements
  • maintaining in-country offices and appropriate staff in-country to deliver the service
  • providing appropriate services and staff from the different sending offices to support programmes in each country

Volunteer scholarship and bursaries, development and fundraising (2%)

  • contribution towards the Lattitude scholarship and bursary scheme
  • new programme development
  • fundraising event costs

Indirect administrative costs (3%):

  • statutory governance costs, as a registered charity, including, audits, annual returns and trustee expenditure

I would just like to thank you so much for all your help and support of Joe. He had the most amazing experience! He thoroughly enjoyed everything out there and has fallen in love with Fijian culture.

He has come back a very mature young man and we could not be more proud of him and everything he achieved there.

Also I would just like to say a big thank you to Lattitude. A fabulous organisation, very supportive, friendly and efficient. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of a gap year.

Aina, Parent