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International Recognition A First For Project Trust



International Recognition

A First For Project Trust

Project Trust has been engaged with 17-19 year olds since 1967 offering them a wide range of long-term volunteering projects. These have included teaching, social care work, outward bound instructing and journalism.

This year is different though. The education charity based on the Scottish, Hebridean Island of Coll, is about to send its first group of volunteers who will receive a nationally recognised certificate for their experience with the organisation.

The 2013/14 volunteers will be given the opportunity to achieve a Level 3 Foundation Year in Global Volunteering and Citizenship, accredited by the Open College Network.

The modules in the course cover the activities volunteers participate in through the Project Trust process. They incorporate Selection, Fundraising, Training, Overseas and Debriefing with optional units in Returned Volunteer School-Talker and Global Citizenship Ambassador.

Ingrid Emerson MBE, Chief Executive of Project Trust, says: “I am thrilled that the incredible achievements of our volunteers will now be firmly recognised through our partnership with OCN.”

Natasha Sankarsingh, who will be a 2013/14 Project Trust volunteer in Peru highlights the value of the accreditation: “Project Trust getting an accredited programme for their volunteers is a really good idea because it shows the educational benefit of what we’ll do whilst we’re away,” says Natasha. “Not many other organisations offer their volunteers the same thing. I’m really excited about going to Peru, I can’t wait,” she adds with some excitement.

Heloise Allan, Project Trust’s Education Development Officer, said: “This is a very exciting time for us. After considerable research we identified that by accrediting our volunteer experience, our Education Programme remains innovative and cutting-edge“.

Hannah John is a Science Teacher at Sidney Stringer Academy, Coventry. Through the Teach First leadership development programme Hannah has been researching Project Trust this summer. She said: “The OCN accreditation and overall skills development through Project Trust’s Education Programme puts students in a very strong position for their future careers.”

Former volunteers agree. Stewart MacLean, who went to Namibia in 2010/11 said: “I gained more by volunteering for a year in Namibia than through 13 years of full time education. The OCN accredited programme represents all the work volunteers will do and the skills they will learn in a way that employers can relate to.”

Henry King, a Project Trust volunteer in China in 2010/11 confirms what Stewart has said: “A year’s volunteering puts you one step ahead of everyone else. You gain an added layer of maturity and independence before university that employers and universities genuinely respect. What’s more - with Project Trust you now get a certificate to prove it.”

Notes to Editors

Project Trust is an overseas volunteering charity based on the Isle of Coll, Scotland. Since 1967 Project Trust has sent almost 7,000 volunteers to Africa, Asia and the Americas to a wide variety of long-term volunteering projects including teaching, social care work, outward bound instructing and journalism.

All Project Trust’s volunteers are 17-19 year-old school leavers, with around 300 volunteers from across the UK and Europe going overseas annually.

The projects volunteers are sent to are carefully selected, and rigorously vetted, to ensure the volunteers’ existing skills can be put to good use in their host communities and do not take work from local people.

Following a selection course on Coll, volunteers have between nine and 18 months to raise £5,600 before departure. This money covers the majority of their costs for the year including flights, medical and baggage insurance, the volunteers’ residential Selection and Training courses on Coll and accommodation and support overseas.

The actual cost of sending each volunteer overseas is approximately £6,500, with Project Trust raising the additional funds. A dedicated Volunteer Fundraising Support Team assists the volunteers throughout their fundraising period.

All Project Trust’s volunteers going on a 12-month placement depart in August or September, with a small number of volunteers leaving in January on eight month placements. Volunteers on the eight month programme have a smaller fundraising total of £4,870.

Volunteers also have the opportunity to continue their engagement with Project Trust on their return to the UK and Europe. Project Trust’s Global Citizenship programme sends Returned Volunteers into schools to deliver lessons and workshops relating to their experiences whilst overseas.

Project Trust has been recommended in The Times’ Good Gap Year Guide, It has been similarly recommended by the Independent. This summer, Project Trust hosted a Telegraph journalist during a Training course, who wrote a feature article about the charity.

Project Trust’s telephone number: 01879230444

Project Trust’s website: http://www.projecttrust.org.uk/

Project Trust Volunteers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectTrustVolunteers?hc_location=timeline

Project Trust’s Twitter: @ProjectTrustUK

Project Trust’s blog: http://blog.projecttrust.org.uk/

Returned Volunteers and Friends of Project Trust Linkedin group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3951765&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

09 September 2013


Palmer Road


Co Durham


Tel: 0191 518 6550 Fax: 0191 518 6551


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