Family volunteering

WHO VOLUNTEERS

For families who want to volunteer with children under 18 years old

Family volunteering is becoming more popular as parents and children are eager to explore the world together and do something new and different for their holidays!

Families receive a £75 discount per child for each volunteer project they do.

Which projects can you join?

We have a great range of volunteering projects for families so we think you'll be able to find something that will suit the whole family, knowing that you are choosing an ethical and carefully vetted project with 24/7 support while you are away. Please see the list of projects below for our family options, categorised by children's age.

Please also bear in mind you can combine several different projects into one incredible volunteering trip!

What do I do next?

If you know which project(s) you are interested in, all we need is for the lead adult to apply online and then we can help you arrange your placement. Alternatively if you would like discuss your options please give us a call or email and we can chat it all through with you!

Family volunteering options - by age of children

5 years +

7 years +

10 years +

11 years +

12 years +

13 years +

14 years +

15 years +

16 years +

Why should you consider volunteering as a family?

Volunteering as a family offers benefits to the parents, children and the project itself. Your family can have a unique experience, immersing you in the culture whilst contributing to an on-going volunteer project in need of support. Many families find that volunteering brings them closer together as the trip creates amazing memories, stories and experiences that you will never forget.

Family groups provide drive and motivation to the project, creating great team dynamics and being of huge benefit to the project. In addition to this children will often provide insight into the volunteer work from a fresh angle, this is something that staff and other volunteers truly appreciate.

Pod believes in responsibly matching families to the right placement and we are honest about the challenges that come with volunteering. We provide all volunteers with a detailed  Guide about the project and support from a dedicated placement manager prior to departure, we can help you to choose a volunteer project that is suited to your family.

How do we select projects for families?

We feel that it is very important that we only offer family volunteering placements where the opportunity is suitable for both the family and the project in country.

Pod liaises with each of our volunteer projects to identify where families are best suited and able to make a valuable contribution to their on-going work. We consider the nature of the work, risk levels, volunteer role and support we can provide onsite and these factors combine to determine the minimum age requirement for each project.

If your child is 16-17 they can also consider travelling as part of a team with a Pod Team leader on one of our under 18 volunteering trips. Alternatively if your children are over 18 they can also consider travelling solo on our Pod volunteer projects.

Natalie and Rachel - Family volunteering at our Elephant Care project in Thailand

"My daughter and I had an amazing time at the Elephant Care centre in Thailand. The mahoots were very supportive and I completely trusted them to keep us safe when we were in the enclosures with the elephants. You will never forget your time walking an elephant - they are amazingly intelligent and strong creatures. And once you have seen how the elephant trade trains baby elephants you will never let anyone you know ride one again. The co-ordinators at the centre were also very friendly, helpful and supportive. They clearly care a lot for all the animals. They also organised day trips for us on our days off." 

Linda and Luca - Family Desert Elephant Conservation in Namibia

"The support of POD and consequent support of local staff, in particular Christine and Hendrick was superb. It was professional, informative and fun! A truly phenomenal experience! The work we did in the school and the children’s faces and seeing the good work the project do was the most rewarding." 

David, Ellie, Sam and Christine - Family diving trip to our Reef Conservation project in Belize

“Our family had an amazing experience with Reef Conservation project in Belize. Spending 5 days on a remote island with a fun and engaging group of international travellers who were all committed to the conservation of the coral reef and the sport of scuba diving was unforgettable. The island was beautiful; the facilities sparse, but that's exactly as it should be.

The experience took me out of my day-to-day life and "off the grid," allowing me to really appreciate the beauty of the water and the reef."

Sofia and Shireen's volunteering - Horse Rehabilitation in South Africa

“From the very word ‘go’, the horses, the farm, the family, the rest of the animals…. I had come home! The only downside for me is that I wish I had found this project earlier!

This was to be a quality ‘vacation’ with my daughter who turned thirteen this May. A ‘holiday’ meant to go down in the archives of her special birthdays! And it sure did, though I suspect more so for me than my daughter. Like myself, my daughter adores animals, most especially horses. Unlike her, I had never ridden or come anywhere close to these majestic beings. And so at the age of fifty-two, this was truly one of the few most rewarding experiences I have had thus far…. There is never a dull moment at the Farm! Evenings are spent as any fun loving family does, sharing laughs and a whole load of good memories!

Thank you to all those who contributed in making this one of the most memorable experiences for Shiree (my daughter) and myself!”

Monique and Josh’s volunteering - Child Care Support in Nepal

“We chose the placement in Pokhara, Nepal after researching into the area and then talking to Pod staff who explained that it was a beautiful and safe environment for our family to spend a few weeks volunteering. We wanted a challenge, but when travelling as a family we also needed to ensure safety was a priority, while still being able to immerse ourselves in the daily Nepali lifestyle.

We will always remember what we learned in our Nepali language lesson in the first week – that Nepal really is the land of Never Ending Peace And Love! It was a priceless experience that we recommend to any family (or any individual) wanting to have an unforgettable experience.”

You can read more about their time in their blog here.

AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • 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