Many thanks also for all the lovely feedback during the year, such as the two women who travelled to Africa with People and Places (travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk), which won Best Volunteering Organisation at this year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. These readers had great volunteering experiences, and felt as if they had made a genuinely positive contribution to the communities they visited. People and Places won this award because they not only offer a sustainable, transparent approach to volunteering holidays (they are externally audited), but they actively campaign for an end to the many cases of bad practice in the sector. Such as lack of consultancy with local communities, no police checks, abandoning volunteers in situ and, very importantly, where the volunteer’s money is actually going at the end of the day. People and Places gets what ‘voluntourism’ is about and, if you are thinking of giving time and money to people who need it, they are the people to call.
Contributor: Catherine mack