Voluntourism is on the rise, with thousands of travellers heading to far-flung destinations every year in search of adventure with a hint of altruism. But make no mistake – this isn’t just a fad for the youth of today. While it’s true that volunteering is a popular choice with university-aged youngsters, it also so happens that an increasing amount of older adults are taking a ‘gap year for grown-ups’!
If you’re a parent to a twenty-something child, odds are you’ll be familiar with those small pangs of jealousy as you wave goodbye to your offspring, wishing it were you who were boarding that plane. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, the narrative around ‘adventure-travel’ can sometimes exclude those above the age of 30 – but here at The Great Projects, we feel as if our older volunteers are some of the most valuable of all.
We’ve welcomed 70-somethings to aid with orangutan conservation in Borneo; we’ve witnessed divers above the age of 60 contribute impressive amounts of help in Raja Ampat. Big cats, gorillas and sharks are no match for ‘grown ups’ with nerves of steel – and, at heart, our volunteers have always been big softies, eager to aid conservation. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to a volunteering adventure, nor does experience – all that we ask is that you’ve got the willingness to get involved!
We offer a number of great projects across a range of focuses, from aiding the rehabilitation of animals to studying corals in important coastal areas. No matter what your interests may be, you’re likely to find a project here to suit your preferences and your fitness level. A moderate level of fitness opens up more opportunities for you to help, but often there are alternative or easier-going activities for you to take part in! As long as you’re volunteering, you’re helping our projects to succeed in their goals, so get in touch today!
Ages, like nationalities, are mixed – we have volunteers joining our projects from all over the world and across a huge spectrum of ages. We’ve witnessed 18-year-olds work beautifully alongside 80-year-olds, and you might be surprised by how much you have in common with somebody twenty years younger (or older) than you! If you have a particular project in mind, reach out to our travel team: while we cannot tell you the exact age of people taking part at the same time as you, we can give you a rough idea of a historical average of ages. One thing is for sure, though – you shouldn’t let your age hold you back, as we’re sure you’ve got so much to give!
Accommodation will vary from project to project, and you should be able to develop your expectations by reading your chosen project’s guide. Yes, sometimes shared rooms are required – but other projects offer private cottages, perfect for a sense of serenity or even for you and your travel partner/group to unwind in peace. Speak to our travel team to learn more about your accommodation options – sometimes there may be an additional cost, but we’re always here to help!