Volunteer’s Week

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Today is the last day of Volunteer’s Week and I’m tempted to ask whether you volunteer.

The National Trust – one body heavily reliant on volunteers

Tourism wouldn’t exist in such a big way without volunteers. Our heritage sites be they buildings, railways or the landscape rely on volunteers without whom they would be a shadow of themselves.

But volunteers play another role in tourism. They travel to far-flung countires to rebuild after hurricanes or other natural disasters; they travel to countries to help build schools, new water systems and set up health clinics and they do countless other tasks that require just people to do what sometimes are quite mundane tasks.

But how many people get involved? How many people donate a day or an afternoon to clean a beach, collect litter from a woodland or clear tracks on a walker’s path?

According to research commissioned by Visit England, about 40% of millenials have considered volunteering whereas the percentage of retirees or older members of the community is much higher. That isn’t surprising. With young families to condsider, married millenials often have less time than singles or empty-nesters.

Many look on volunteering as a cheap holiday. Just as my parents headed to the Kent hop-fields in the 1940’s and early fifties to help harvest, today people go on canal cleaning holidays and wildlife monitoring ones. Some aren’t inexpensive anymore and a few charities expect you to raise money for them at the same time.

Whatever their contribution and whatever assistance is given, volunteering has become a vital part of the toursm world even to those that that help guide people around towns and villages when cruise ship coaches deposit passengers on their doorsteps.

Well! Are you tempted to volunteer?

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