Best Volunteering Organisation 2019 Winner!

Project & Pod News / 11 December 2019 Best Volunteering Organisation 2019 Winner!

We are thrilled to have been announced as the winner of the Best Volunteering Organisation 2019 at the British Youth Travel Awards!

A huge thank you to our volunteers and overseas project partners who made this possible - we are incredibly passionate about what we do and work really hard to be as ethical as possible, so getting recognition at such a high level makes it all feel worthwhile and is a great honour!

Pod Volunteer also won Best Volunteering Organisation in 2017 and 2015, so it's our 3rd time as winner making us the organisation that has won the award more times than any other!

The awards are co-ordinated by the British Educational Travel Association (BETA) to help to gain recognition and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to from and within the UK.

Best Volunteering Organisation 2019

BETA who run the Awards explain that:

"The Best Volunteering Organisation category is designed to reward UK based organisations engaged in volunteer tourism that can demonstrate the delivery of benefits to the local communities in which they work and the volunteers involved.

Volunteering overseas is rapidly growing and it is imperative that organisations engaged in this type of work are passionate about the positive developmental outcomes whilst also working to minimise the negative impacts. It is crucial to ensure that such programmes impact constructively on economic, social and environmental issues within local communities.

Volunteer programmes must:

  • Promote self-funding volunteer efforts that deliver skills transfer or provide a supporting role to a community/project
  • Don’t replace local employment
  • Match volunteers’ skills with community needs, provide volunteer support
  • Have financially transparent practices

Judging criteria

  • Commitment to sustainable best practice
  • Involvement with local communities in planning and decision making
  • Maintaining and encouraging social, cultural and natural diversity through recruitment selections and/or placemaking
  • Managing expectations of the volunteer and host (community/project/destination)
  • Assessment of environmental impacts or the project overall / Using resources sustainably
  • Demonstrate tangible benefits for the volunteers and projects/hosts involved
  • Quality, innovation and marketability
  • Promotion of sustainable tourism to end user
  • Provides a good example for others to follow"

Here is our winning video submission:



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  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal