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Volunteer Overseas

Volunteering abroad as an older volunteer

Projects Abroad places a great deal of value on our older volunteers, for with age comes a mixture of experience, skills and patience that younger volunteers often cannot offer. Are you a retiree, career-breaker, a stay-at-home mum or simply an older adult looking for a meaningful travel experience? Projects Abroad can offer you a worthwhile, rewarding volunteer opportunity in a community that very much needs your help.

Here are some of the most popular options for older volunteers:

Volunteering abroad on a Grown-up Special

Projects Abroad Australian volunteer takes part in the Reading Club at a care placement helping children in Togo

Grown-up Specials are specially-designed two week volunteer placements that take place on set dates, specifically for those aged 50 plus. These are ideal for older volunteers who’d like to work in a group with like-minded people their own age. Grown-up Specials involve a combination of childcare activities and community outreach projects, and are an incredibly rewarding experience.

Find out more about our Grown-up Specials.

Volunteer abroad as a professional

Some of our most successful placements have involved older volunteers who are volunteering in a role they have many years of experience in.

Qualified medical professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists and Dentists, for example, are incredibly popular with our partner organisations, because they can really help relieve the heavy workloads in overcrowded clinics and hospitals.

Projects Abroad also offer professional placements in a number of other fields, such as Law & Human Rights, Veterinary Medicine and Journalism, to name but a few. If you want to put your skills into practice against a new and exciting backdrop, then we would love to have you aboard!

Find out more about volunteering abroad on our Projects for Professionals.

Other project options for older volunteers

Projects Abroad Grown-up Special volunteers on a Care and Community project enjoy sightseeing during their free time in Peru

Recent years have witnessed a massive growth in the amount of retired volunteers being sent out to Projects Abroad destinations. Older volunteers often tend to favour the more altruistic projects, such as Teaching and Care, which is fantastic because these are generally the areas where there is the most need. However, if you’re an older volunteer who fancies something different, why not try one of our other standard projects?

We have a wide array of exciting options to choose from! Pursue your interest in Archaeology, or take part in valuable wildlife research on one of our Conservation placements. Maybe you’re more interested in learning new arts and crafts from local tradesmen on a Creative & Performing Arts programme, or would like to immerse yourself in a foreign culture on one of our Culture & Community projects.

You can browse our full list of projects, and once you’ve made your selection, choose your start date and decide how long you’d like to go for!

Jane Moncrieff"Not being a spring chicken I have a lot of work experience both in the field of care, working with children, sport and also importantly a mother of two teenage daughters. The teachers in the school were really appreciative of my help and I think being older and being used to looking after children was very valued by them.

I met so many lovely volunteers, some as young as my daughters and a few my age, which was great and allowed me to go off and do things that older people do! Having said that, the young volunteers never made me feel out of things and I always felt part of all the activities. For anyone who is just thinking about doing some volunteering work with Projects Abroad, particularly if you are of more mature years, then I would say think no more – just do it, you will love it and will have so much fun – I did and now I’m a convert!"

Jane Moncrieff
General Care Projects in Peru

For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements.

Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.

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