Tess, Outdoor Instructor, UK

Tess in the UK


News from Tess who is at Calvert Trust – Kielder, a caring outdoor education placement in the UK.

Well where to start… 2 months has flown by already and I feel like I have been here for absolutely ages!!
Haven’t missed home that much which is good but all I can say is thank god for Skype because I think I would be lost without it! My placement is amazing, the people that work here blow me away some days with their positive attitudes and they love working here, so it really rubs off on you. It helps when you are working with people who love doing what they are doing. Some of the guests we get here are just amazing, they bring you back down to earth. I mean we think we have a hard life or we have bad days and then I look at these guys and realise I really have nothing to be complaining about. I am really happy where I am and I would just like to say thank you to the amazing New Zealand Team that represent Lattitude, because you all have done and will continue to do a great job.

I have been exploring just a little bit, I want to do more but it is a matter of working it in with work and time off. I spent a weekend in Newcastle with other Gappies and spent a week in London with family!
I hope all the preparations for the next load of volunteer’s is going smoothly and that there are a lot of applicants.

I love taking a step back some days and realising where I am, and how I got here. I love knowing the good work I am doing here is paying off and really helping out people that need it. The people I live with are crazy fun and keep me on my toes  The Aussie volunteer’s are good fun too. Sometimes I wish I had another kiwi to chill with but it’s good that I stay in touch with basically everyone I came over here with so I catch up with them when I can!

I am on a rotating roster, which includes Caring (Feeding, helping dress the disabled), Activities assistant (Pretty much leading activities, but I always have a more experienced person with me) and Domestic (Cleaning rooms, and servicing the center in which we work in). During the World Cup we have dedicated our sports hall to football. We have turned it into World Cup Village. Two flat screen TV’s that are playing football all day. The room is decorated with flags from teams all over the world that are participating. A very happy and vibrant room all day long!! Although I am very isolated the scenery here is beautiful and there is always something for you to do. You just have to be willing to go on adventures sometimes, and not know your destination till you get there. It’s all about making the most of your time here. That’s what a gap year is all about.

You can’t always rely on others to take you places, so to find your own type of transport is helpful. Biking is very popular in the forest. It is very rewarding when you hear people saying they can already see a change in you. Imagine what you can get out of 8 months? Time is flying by, and it only felt like yesterday i was saying goodbye to my family at Christchurch Airport. Time flies when you are having fun! I can definitely say i will not look back with regret, Things can only get better from here.

Thanks Lattitude!