how we started
In 2005, three travellers met by chance in a Gambian garden. Harold, Sallie and Kate
were there for different, yet related, reasons - Harold was advising the government on its national tourism guidelines; Sallie was using her business skills
in volunteer work; Kate was designing a special interest holiday for a newspaper readers' offer.
Our discussions rapidly centered on volunteer travel, with one overwhelming and recurring theme - the extant chasm between marketing and reality in a significant number of volunteer offers. Both sides in the equation - volunteers and local communities - frequently find themselves being sold a project that bears little resemblance to the real situation.
What could we do to address such potential exploitation of volunteers and local people?
Our initial idea was to `name and shame' through targeted campaigning, but over the next few months, another idea took precedence: to achieve positive and long-term change, we would develop our own unique model of ethical and responsible volunteering, whereby all parties would be best-served and which would be totally open and honest in all its activities, including financial matters.
Thus - people and places
- a social enterprise, committed to responsible volunteering.
The initial volunteer projects we launched with were in South Africa and Nepal - and our very first volunteer was placed in one of the South Africa projects in April 2006.
We've come a long way since then . today we are matching volunteers' skills to projects' needs in 10 countries. We have placed thousands of volunteers who have shared their skills and experience with local community projects abroad and in turn they have learnt new skills and added to their experience!
We are proud that our work has been recognised 4 times (and we understand that we were only nominated four times - we add a little smuggly) by the prestigeous WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards :-
In 2007 - in our second year we were Highly Commended in The Responsible Volunteering category
In 2009 we won The Responsible Volunteering category
In 2013 we won Best for Campaigning for our work on responsible volunteering - particularly Child Protection
In 2020 we won Best for Innovation for our e-volunteering initiative
Expert Tours People and Places Ltd trading as people and places - Company Number 03805796 - Registered in England at: 1 Naboth's Nursery, Canterbury Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8AX