What went on at Lattitude during 2018?

Posted on the 10th January 2019

Volunteers

We started off 2018 with a big Orientation week in London. While we had a few delays and alterations to arrivals due to Visa difficulties, we always find our London trips one of the best parts of our job! We were able to finally welcome all volunteers between January and March, sending everyone to their new home for the year across the country. We received volunteers from all over the world, with the majority coming from New Zealand and Australia.

Our second big group to enter the country was in September 2018, when we received people from Ecuador, South Africa, Canada, Colombia and Germany. Unfortunately, we experienced a few similar visa issues, which meant volunteers were arriving at different times during September and October too.

We have received amazing feedback from many of our host placements and volunteers themselves. It really gives us great joy when hearing about their successful stories and experiences all around the world.

Here are a few volunteer stories, have a read:

Bruno’s Story

Jordan’s Story

Joshua’s Story

UK Outdoors Centre Team

Volunteer Orientation London January

We moved

After 40 years, we finally left the old and cold Lattitude building behind. Our office is now in a new building in the centre of Reading, with a lovely cafe and plenty of sofa and common area spaces to work in! It has been a big change and took some time to get used to, but we are all loving the rooftop terraces and the lovely events organised by Diaz, the building’s receptionist! We cannot complain!

 

Staff Changes

In September 2017 we welcomed Emily De Souza who was an intern with Lattitude during 6 months as her sandwich year as part of her International Development course at University. Her main focus with Lattitude was on programme development for our Ghana offer, and after her 6 months at HQ she travelled there to help our Country Manager deliver the programme, so she got her ground-level experience.

Our current intern, Hannah, is working on our next Action Project in Latin America, based in the self-sufficient community of Yunguillas, where a group of volunteers will hopefully engage in environmental and conservation work during 6 weeks this coming summer.

As well as Interns, there have been a few staff changes this year! We said goodbye to Iain and Becky at the end of July. They both played a great role in growing our Lattitude programmes over the past 3 years, by exploring new forms of marketing and social engagement, as well as fulfilling their own jobs and tasks. We have a lot to thank them for and wish them all the best in their next adventures.

Anna Burgin, one of our New Zealand members of staff, came to the end of her year with us in the UK. We are still working with her at a distance but definitely miss her Kiwi accent and energy in the office! We also wish her all the best with her further studies back home!

Finally, we have welcomed Emma (marketing and recruitment), and Anna (Volunteer Coordinator) into the Reading office. They have both had a lot to learn and take, on and are doing a great job with it!

In Ghana, we said goodbye to Nana, who was much loved by everyone on the Team, and said hello to Agnes and Kweku who have been great additions too!

 

Our New Action Projects (Ghana and Ecuador)

During the summer of 2018 we finally ran our first Ghana Action Project! This was a 6 week project in the Abrobriano Village, where eight volunteers ran a summer school for the local kids in the mornings, and managed to rebuild the local library in the afternoons. They all loved living in their host families, and soon got used to the outside toilets and local traditions. It was great to hear back from them and receive plenty of lovely photos too!

Folowing our successful pilot project, the Ghana Action Project will run again this summer of 2019, and we are offering a 6 week summer project in Ecuador too! A great opportunity to get away between school and University, or even in between years!

 

1,000 Followers on Instagram

And counting! We love sharing our volunteers’ images from around the world on our Instagram page, and it has been getting increasingly popular over the past year. It is a great way to reach new volunteers who may be looking for a similar experience to your own, so if you ever have any images which you would like us to share on our social media platforms, please send them my way! You can find us on Instagram at Lattitude Global Volunteering.

 

HRH Princess Anne Visit to Argentina

This year we enjoyed a last minute visit from Princes Anne, but in Argentina! It was a great surprise for our volunteers out in South America to get together and spend a day with HRH. We are all looking forward to seeing her again in February 2019. Here are a few photos.

 

Visit to the Vietnamese Embassy

Greg (our CEO) and Anna, made a visit to the Vietnamese Embassy this autumn as we are running a pilot Project Asia this winter, which covers three countries: Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It was a great experience to meet and learn from other charity organisations that are closely tied with Vietnam.

Visas

After a temperamental start to the year, we are so happy to say that we had a positive closure! All visas were finally granted to our incoming volunteers for this January intake, meaning everything at Orientation has run very smoothly and was a great success! Fingers crossed everything stays this way!

 

Snow in the UK

Last but not least, we think it is worth mentioning the amazing snow storms we had this winter (which none of us were ready for). While we enjoyed the novelty for a while, we hope the country does not come to a stop again the next time around!

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