The UK is steeped in history and dotted with ancient buildings, castles and cathedrals. Volunteers work in schools, camps and community centres. While qualified staff are always present, fresh, energetic young volunteers are crucial in providing students, camp-goers, program participants and residents with a much-needed friend and role model.
Ireland, the Emerald Isle, is the westernmost outpost of Europe. Outside the vibrant, modern cities you will find a slower pace of life, more relaxed attitudes and a real sense of community. Living and working in this beautiful country our volunteers are placed in schools, camps and community centres assisting teachers and other staff to provide high levels of education and care. You will create long-lasting bonds with your collegues and clients you are working with.
The majority of placements are in England and the Republic of Ireland, but we also have several placements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, click here to view a map.
Is It For Me?
An ever-popular destination, undertaking a placement in the United Kingdom will allow you to bypass the predictable tourist trail and experience either country like a local. While the placements differ greatly, the need for volunteers with a hard-working, fun-loving nature is a constant. You’ll be surprised at how much the bonds you form with the people under your care will enrich both your life and theirs.
Schools Assistant - The United Kingdom
These placements are at preparatory schools for seven to 13 year olds (some have pre-prep departments for children from three years old), senior schools for 13 to 18 year olds, or schools which combine some or all of these. The majority of schools are boarding schools however there are a small number of day schools as well. Many of the schools are single-sex schools. Volunteers are generally based in the boarding house or PE/sports department, but most schools try to give the volunteer a varied timetable. Working in a boarding school is not a 9 - 5 existence and you may sometimes have to work in the early morning or in the evening. Your duties may include getting boarders up, supervising going to bed, helping with after school activities and homework and weekend excursions. Other duties could involve helping in the school office as well as supporting pupils in the classroom. Caring schools placements are in establishments for deaf children, children with physical disabilities or children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Past volunteers have found these placements to be particularly meaningful and rewarding. Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
Schools Assistant - Ireland
Placements are mainly in Irish prepatory and senior schools. Many are single-sex schools. with volunteers usually based in the boarding houses or PE/sports departments, but most schools try to give the volunteer a varied timetable. You could be based in a city centre, a country town or a boarding school with extensive grounds in the countryside. Working in a boarding school is not a 9 - 5 existence and you may sometimes have to work in the early morning or in the evening. Your duties may include getting boarders up, supervising going to bed, helping with after school activities and homework and weekend excursions. Other duties could involve helping in the school office as well as supporting pupils in the classroom. Caring schools placements are in establishments for deaf children, children with physical disabilities or children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Past volunteers have found these placements to be particularly meaningful and rewarding. Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
Community Worker - The United Kingdom
These are either in residential homes for adults with a variety of disabilities or in community centres for disadvantaged primary children, teenagers or adults. Volunteer duties may involve assisting with the day-to-day care of residents, leading activities such as art, sport, and music, or taking outings to places of interests such as the theatre, seaside or local pub! In the community centres, volunteers assist paid staff to help and support homeless people who seek respite in the centre. These placements enable the volunteers to make a small but significant difference to people’s lives, often through the simple gift of sharing their time and friendship. Placements vary in the level of challenge and responsibilities, but are extremely rewarding, as volunteers are able to make a significant difference to people's lives. Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
Community Worker - Ireland
Placements are very varied and mainly in residential homes working with adults with a variety of disabilities.These placements provide the opportunity to support, entertain and befriend residents and enable volunteers to make significant differences to people's lives. Volunteer duties in the residential care placements may involve assisting with the day-to-day personal care of residents (such as bathing, toileting, exercise, therapy, and medication), household maintenance (laundry, groceries, cleaning, etc.), leading activities such as art, sport, and music, or taking residents on outings to places of interests such as the theatre, seaside or the local pub! In the social care placements, volunteers work with local staff to help and support young homeless clients who seek respite in the centre. Placements vary in the level of challenge and responsibilities, but are extremely rewarding, as volunteers are able to make a significant difference to people's lives. All necessary training will be provided and volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement in Ireland.
Outdoor Activities Instructor - The United Kingdom & Ireland
These vary from big organisations with a large number of seasonal young staff, to small family-run operations. Volunteer tasks include leading group activities such as archery, ropes, abseiling, orienteering, assault courses, canoeing and overseeing team building games. You can also gain qualifications in these activities. In the evening you might run sessions playing games, singing songs etc. You may also be asked to help with catering or maintenance. Field Study Centres run courses for groups to study ecology and geography. You will usually be required to assist with the domestic supervision of incoming student groups of all ages. Volunteers may receive a small monetary payment each week as a contribution towards expenses incurred during their placement.
Select the drop down titles below for more information:
Accommodation And Food
With the majority of Schools Assistant placements, hosts provide volunteers with their own room in the boarding house and food is supplied by the school canteen. With all other placements, accommodation varies but usually comprises of a shared house or flat. Some placements provide food, while others set up a system of self-catering for volunteers.
Need To Know
- Pre-departure Briefing - all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
- On Arrival - the majority of volunteers attend a two-day orientation course at Reading University, while others receive an orientation upon arrival at their placement
- We find out about each volunteers strengths, skills and interests through an in-depth interview which helps us select the right people as well as identifying what they are hoping to achieve while away and helps us select the right people to be Lattitude volunteers
- A second interview with our In Country Programme Manager (often via Skype) helps match them to a placement perfect for them.
- Once you have been accepted by the in Country Programme Manager you will be looked after by a specialised Volunteer Coordinator in our NZ office who assists with all preparations, support with logistics such as flights and visas, and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a predeparture briefing to meet other volunteers, Lattitude staff, other professionals such as our travel agent, travel doctors and insurance company representatives as well as hearing from returned volunteers, learning in person about the expectations and exciting prospects that lie ahead.
- Volunteers are seen off at the airport, where they travel together to their destination countries
- All volunteers sign our Term and Conditions to ensure that Lattitude's expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
- Volunteers attend a group orientation upon arrival in-country and, where needed, undertake training such as a local language or teaching skills course.
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from the Lattitude office in New Zealand.
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- Our debriefing session will include discussions from industry professionals regarding the identification and articulation of the new skills the volunteer has invariably acquired during his/her placement, and how to use these new skills to get ahead.
- We are always happy to supply written and verbal references to our successful volunteers upon return home, to aid in applications to higher education or the workforce.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in the UK/Ireland in 2017 and a full explanation of costs can be found here:
|Lattitude fees (exact costs):|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Contribution Fee||$3,900|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$350|
|You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):|
|Return Airfares (approx cost of group flight)||$2,400 - $3,500|
|Travel Insurance (12months)||$900 - $1030|
|UK Health Levy||
|Medical examination||$50 - $200|
|Total cost (approximate)
||$8,528 - $9,908|
Volunteers placed at a school will be able to travel during school holidays and those undertaking Outdoor Activity or Community and Caring placements will have plenty of time to travel when the placement finishes. And there is so much to see. The UK and Ireland are jam-packed with historic cathedral cities such as Canterbury and York, picturesque medieval villages, famous urban centres (London, Manchester and Dublin to name a few), castles and palaces. So dense with ancient buildings and landmarks, it is a wonder there is any green space left! But there is. In fact, it is a wonderland of untouched nature with the lakes of Cumbria, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the Scottish Highlands, and the Yorkshire Dales all essential destinations.
Ireland is just a short hop from the mainland Europe but retains a traditional, community feel in the small villages and towns. Dublin is the place to go for the "craic" which roughly translates as having fun and a laugh with your friends. Dublin's clubs and bars are vibrant, noisy places where everyone is a friend and there's no such thing as a quiet drink.
17 (Outdoor Activities Instructor and Schools Assistant must be turning 18 within 3 months of departure with a limited number of places available for 17 year olds in Schools Assistant placements)
|Duration:||6 to 12 months|
Population: 61.4 million
Time Zone: Minus 13 hours from time in Auckland (UTC/GMT)
Climate: The United Kingdom has weather which can vary greatly but generally the summer months (June-August) are warm and dry and winter months (December-February) are cool and wet. Temperatures are likely to be warmer in the southern areas.
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP) in the UK and Northern Ireland, and Euro in the Republic of Ireland
"I love it here in Oxford. It's totally different from home, I'm meeting all these new people, and I'm getting treated as an adult. It's pretty crazy to be out of high school for less than two months, and already I feel like a teacher, and I'm doing things I never thought I'd be doing. I'm as far away from home as you can get, but they make you feel like you ARE at home. The main reason I decided to volunteer with Lattitude was that I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do. Seeing the world and learning to stand on my own two feet will give me the experiences I need in order to decide what I want to do."
Taylor, Schools Assistant, Oxford