The eleven-strong team here at The Great projects are a closely-knit bunch, each of them possessing a passion for both wildlife and travel. Thanks to this common thread and a range of lovely personalities, it’s rarely a tough day in the office – and it’s always easy to promote what we believe to be unique, exciting and completely life-changing experiences!
Every member of the team brings boundless energy and enthusiasm to their roles – they love to travel, and they love to talk about travel, and we think it shows! You might get to know members of the team during your enquiries or through checking out our social media platforms, but for now, read on to learn a little more about each member of the TGP team…
Lauren - Senior Travel Consultant
Prior to joining The Great Projects team, Lauren spent her working career in the animal welfare sector, so comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in animal management, husbandry and welfare. She is a firm believer in the importance of protecting wildlife and the natural environment and enjoyed volunteering in Borneo, working with local tribal communities and aiding in the rehabilitation of rescued animals.
Lauren's first solo trip was to New Zealand and Australia, and she has thoroughly enjoyed travelling ever since. During her spare time, Lauren enjoys the great outdoors, photography and hiking. She took this passion one step further by successfully summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and has set her sights on trekking Peru’s Inca trail next!
Lauren is always keen to raise awareness of responsible tourism and actively promotes this through her role here at The Great Projects.
Francessca - Travel Consultant
Fran is keen on the outdoors and has always had a passion for travelling. From an early age, she has enjoyed visiting other countries, and learning about their customs, wildlife, and way of life. Fran took a break in her career to spend 18 months travelling through Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America. Visiting numerous areas of natural beauty, Fran enjoyed learning more about wildlife conservation and ways of helping endangered species such as primates, elephants and Koalas. Since then, she has continued to travel and educate herself on ways towards improving animal welfare across the world.
Before joining The Great Projects, Fran worked in the animal welfare sector, focusing on the promotion of welfare, and providing high standards of care and enrichment. As an animal lover, Fran enjoys helping raise awareness of how we can all contribute to the protection and conservation of wildlife.
Beth - Social Media Manager
Beth graduated with a first class degree in Business Management and Marketing in 2018, and now has over 5 years of marketing experience including a mix of traditional and digital marketing activities with a focus on social media.
Social media has a powerful part to play in compelling the world to engage in conservation and she is thrilled to be contributing to enhancing this awareness. From an early age, she has had a great passion for animals and has volunteered at the Greyhound Trust for over 5 years.
She has been to 20 countries already but has always wanted to volunteer in Southeast Asia, specifically for the conservation of elephants. She is delighted to be a part of a team who shares the same love for the conservation of wildlife.
James - Travel Videographer
With diverse experience in the film production world, working on documentaries, travel Vlogs, corporate films, music videos and more, James joined The Great Projects in 2022 where he found the perfect opportunity to partner his passion for filmmaking with his love for travel. He has a lot of travel experience under his belt already and is quickly adding more as our Travel Videographer, making videos and creating exciting content to showcase the incredible work being done at our volunteer projects around the world.
It has been a long-term goal to use his skills behind a camera to raise awareness of global environmental issues, and with a keen interest in outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing and windsurfing, James throws himself into every adventure.
He is delighted to represent The Great Projects and always eager to see which incredible country he may find himself in next.
Jake - Project Development Manager
Jake joined the Great Projects team in 2019 following a year and a half of travelling and working through South America, Asia and New Zealand. To date he has visited 26 different countries and plans to add many more to the list.
He is always looking to take himself out of his comfort zone and loves exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. Jake is a keen hiker and diver, never turning down an opportunity to jump out into the wilderness.
Since childhood he has always been an animal lover and counts wildlife conservation as one of his great passions in life, with a big soft spot for marine conservation. He has been fortunate enough to have already visited three of our projects, as well as volunteering in two other social projects based in Ecuador and Cambodia.
He is delighted to have joined team at The Great Projects who share his values and passions and is looking forward to helping set up new and exciting volunteering projects around the world.
Kate - Volunteer Coordinator
Kate has always had a passion for conservation, travel and primates. This has taken her on a number of adventures working on tropical research and conservation projects in West Africa, Indonesia, South America, and at a primate rehabilitation centre for chimpanzees in southern Spain.
It was after her first trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia at the age of 18 to volunteer on a conservation and tropical biodiversity research project that Kate decided to study Ecology at the University of Edinburgh. Fast forward to now and she has developed a range of practical experience and knowledge working on projects ranging from re-establishing forest in Peru, aiding in the care and rehabilitation of captive chimpanzees in Spain, to researching Mangrove biodiversity and bird species in Tanzania.
She is now excited to return to Indonesia, the country which confirmed her love of travel and conservation, to be our Volunteer Coordinator at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Volunteer Project in Borneo for her eighth year.
Matt & Niamh - Volunteer Coordinators
Matt and Niamh share a passion for conserving some of the planet's most precious places and mitigating wildlife conflict. Over the last 15 years either individually or, as a couple, they have embarked on managing an array of overseas projects including Manta conservation in the Maldives, turtles in the Caribbean and seal rescue in Ireland.
It was 5 years ago whilst working as seal rehabilitators that their paths crossed and they became a double act soon embarking on a Master’s degree together in Anthrozoology following previous undergraduate studies in zoology and environmental conservation. Sharing a love for Asia after spells teaching English in Nepal and protecting elephants in Laos, they recently returned to Malaysia to run a conservation project focused on a turtle hatchery and coral reef restoration.
It was during a spell of travelling after their Malaysia project concluded that they went to Sabah and experienced the intelligent and majestic world of orangutans. Learning more about the plight of our great ape species they were only too happy to return to volunteer management this year as joint coordinators for the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary.
Michael - Managing Director
Michael has been Managing Director of The Great Projects since 2011. His deep-seated love for travel and wildlife began many years ago after spending time in South Africa's Northern and Eastern Capes. Since then he has travelled all around the world but done most of his travelling through Africa and South-East Asia, where he has worked to set up conservation projects and support existing charities or NGOs in their conservation efforts.
While he is now based mostly within the UK office he still makes time to visit and see the progress of the different projects. In the coming years he hopes to continue to support and work with passionate people at all of the projects as well as develop new and exciting volunteer opportunities when and where they are needed.
Andrew - Director
Andrew became involved with The Great Projects in 2011 when he invested in the business to allow it to expand to include the many new and exciting projects we now offer with many more to come!
Intending initially for it to be a hands-off investment, Andrew quickly got caught up in the excitement of the projects and working to make their aims a reality. Andrew brings his many years of experience of running companies to us to help the team develop the business in a professional and stable way, offering his time for free. Andrew has travelled to many places for both business and pleasure but frequently recounts his experience with Harriet in Borneo. They were visiting the route for our Orangutan and Tribes Voluntour and as they were approaching the lodge, in the trees right on the river bank were two wild orangutans. Seeing them in their natural habitat for the first time had a profound effect and remains one of Andrew's favourite travel experiences.
Andrew is looking forward to overseeing the development of our latest projects and in particular hopes to visit The Great Tiger Project to see the big cats in the wild.
David - Accounts
David is in charge of the accounts at The Great Projects. He helps in the supervision of money and ensures that all the accommodation and logistics are paid for before volunteers travel.
He likes to make sure that all volunteer's money goes to exactly where it is supposed to and put their minds completely at ease!