What are my chances of being offered a placement?
Nearly all our applicants are successful. We have an in-depth application process which starts with a Selection Day that includes an interview to discover more about your interests, skills and strengths. This is followed by a thorough matching process that finds the best available placement that meets your needs, fully utilises your skills and will challenge, engage and inspire you. We want to ensure that each volunteer is placed where their skills, interests and strengths fit with what one of our hosts is looking for. If this is done correctly, you will find yourself being very busy helping out in ways in which you enjoy. A busy volunteer means a happy host and a great experience for you!
Do I get a say in which placement I am offered?
Yes. You’ll be asked to list up to four placement preferences on your application, and can modify these after your interview. Lattitude Global Volunteering takes your preferences seriously, but also looks at where your individual skills and experience might be best utilised. We offer a wide variety of experiences but some are particularly popular. We may be unable to offer you your first choice if it is already full. If your interviewer feels there is a more suitable option, we will discuss some alternatives with you. The important thing to note upon sending in your application form is that it is not set in stone. You have plenty of opportunity to discuss with us the type of experience you are after and we will do our very best to ensure that this is what you receive.
Where will I stay?
As part of the agreement with our placement hosts, your accommodation is included with your placement. Most often this will be on-site at your placement, for example you might have your own room in a school boarding house or a cabin at an outdoor activities camp. In some cases you may share an apartment with other volunteers near your placement. In some countries you will have the opportunity to live with a host family and to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. The quality of accommodation varies from country to country and placement to placement. In the developing countries, accommodation can be quite basic. Our volunteers tell us that this helps them to really feel part of a local community and makes for some fantastic memories.
Is my food included?
Your food is also included as part of the agreement with our placement hosts. The way in which your food is provided will vary according to your placement country and host. For example you may have access to an on-site canteen, receive an allowance to purchase or prepare your own food if in a self-contained apartment. Alternatively, your meals may be supplied by your host family. If you are working in a particularly rural or poor community you may find that you need to supplement the basic diet.
How much does it cost?
Our placements range in price from £1500 to £2700 depending on which placement you are matched with. The fee represents a contribution towards the charity’s running costs. However, there will be variations in the amount you need to budget for additional costs such as air fares and insurance.
Can I go with a friend?
Where possible we will do our absolute best to place you with a friend. But please respect that sometimes this may not be possible. This may be due to restrictions at our host institutions or that the accommodation only accepts one volunteer, which may be the case with a host family. Please bear in mind that although we would really love to provide everything as you wish, it is not always possible to have one aspect without sacrificing another. For example if you really want to go with a friend but are actually very different to them, you may have to choose between staying with them or choosing a placement that suits you better! With this in mind applications are assessed separately because volunteers have better experiences when they’re matched to a placement that suits their individual skills and attributes. However, when friends apply together but are evidently very different we do try to send them to nearby placements so that they can meet at evenings and weekends. We will always keep you updated and let you know well in advance so you are fully aware of the situation and feel able to make fully informed decisions. Please enquire for more information as sometimes it can be quite country / placement specific too!
Will I be the only volunteer at my placement
This depends on the needs of your host. In most cases you will be placed with another volunteer or possibly with a team of volunteers; however some hosts need only one volunteer. Whatever happens, you will live and work alongside other young people. We try to cluster our placements so that volunteers have the opportunity to meet up regularly.; our goal is for you to have a brilliant, life changing experience and recognise that sharing your experiences is part of the fun!
What if I get sick?
To ensure you are covered if you happen to get sick, you will need to have comprehensive travel insurance. Our hosts, in-country Managers and Local Representatives are always on hand as well and have a great deal of experience in supporting young volunteers. In the instance of an emergency, you can call the Emergency Phone, which is answered 24/7 and staff will be able to assist you and help you to make any arrangements you may require. Don’t forget, you should always keep a copy of your insurance documents to hand. As part of your preparation all questions such as these will discussed at the pre-departure briefing and as part of your orientation to ensure you are fully prepared for your volunteer experience. You will always have the full backing of the Lattitude network and that is a real advantage of going with a charity like Lattitude, rather than going it alone.
Will the country I’m going to be safe?
The safety and security of our volunteers is paramount and Lattitude Global Volunteering will never send volunteers to a country or placement that is deemed unsafe. While there is some risk involved in any overseas travel, through our pre-departure briefings and in-county orientations we seek to educate our volunteers and alert them to potential hazards. Lattitude Global Volunteering takes advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office about any major situations that may arise and monitors them accordingly. We also maintain regular contact with our hosts and in-country Local Representatives about the suitability of our placement locations.
Will I receive any pocket money?
A small amount of pocket money may be supplied by our hosts for placements in developed countries. The amount will vary from placement to placement but, where paid, will generally be enough to cover daily living expenses. In developing countries, especially in resource poor placements, you are unlikely to receive pocket money; however your own savings will go a lot further.
How will I deal with any problems?
There is a large support network of staff and representatives in all our countries. These people are there to help you, to provide friendly and timely support whenever you need it. They will visit you at your placement to check that all is well. There’s Lattitude Global Volunteering Head Office in the UK too – contact us if you need help. We have the following five levels of support available to every volunteer: Host Mentor – member of staff employed by the placement host who is your first point of contact. Local Representative – part-time or volunteer member of staff allocated to a placement as a local point of contact. Lattitude Country Manager – volunteer or paid staff member with overall responsibility for you and your placement. This is your next point of contact if your Local Rep is unavailable. Volunteer Coordinator – paid member of staff based in our Reading office who is responsible for supporting the Programme Manager, assisting you pre-departure and during your placement if required. This person is also the key contact for parents. Regional Director – paid staff member based in our Reading office will deal with serious issues or formal complaints
My son or daughter is going to volunteer with Lattitude Global Volunteering, do you have any information for me?
Yes, we have developed a Parents’ Guide which aims to summarise in one place all you need to know about Lattitude Global Volunteering and answer many of the common questions or areas of concern raised by parents and guardians. This is sent to each volunteer once they have paid their deposit.
Can you help with fundraising?
Yes we can. Our Fundraising and Bursary team can provide you with ideas and information and help to publicise your efforts. We are constantly amazed by the ideas our volunteers have for raising money, which range from holding fashion shows and discos to running marathons or packing bags in supermarkets. We appreciate that raising the funds to pay for your placement can seem daunting. However it’s reassuring to know that many young people have been in the same situation in the past and successfully raised the money they required. It can be hard work but it certainly is achievable, and the process of fundraising is an experience in itself! So where do you start?
- Work out your budget – how much will you need?
- Plan ahead – the sooner you start fundraising the more options you can try, and therefore the more you will raise.
- Approach prospective sponsors – think about why you are so passionate about volunteering overseas, what you hope to achieve, and write a letter to them.
- Stay positive – not everyone you approach will be able to support you. There are many causes in the world vying for people’s attention.
- Persevere and you will have success!
For further information, suggestions and ways in which Lattitude Global Volunteering can help call us on 0118 959 4914