New responsible volunteering website and blog

I have been wanting to do more to contribute to the overseas volunteering sector and help to promote best practice in the industry for many years now. It has taken some time to really figure out what I can do and where my knowledge, skills and interests best fit. I have also witnessed a growing impetus from within the industry to change and improve, along with a vocal campaign promoting responsible volunteering, led by some passionate advocates.

Last November’s World Travel Market Responsible Volunteering session felt like a tipping point. I left the event buzzing with the desire to do more than write about the issues in my blog. It was at that point the idea of the Responsible Volunteering website was born. I realised that while there is a lot going on within the volunteer tourism industry, there is still very little general advice out there for people wanting to be responsible volunteers.

Just under 5 months later, the website is finally live! Please pay it a visit:

www.responsiblevolunteering.co.uk

The website offers impartial and honest advice to anyone considering a period of volunteering overseas, particularly in developing countries. I have used my knowledge from 6 years experience of advising volunteers at VSO and writing communication materials aimed at volunteers, along with all the research I have done in the last couple of years.

I’ve been writing my blog about responsible volunteering for 15 months now and it has been a pleasure to blog about the volunteer tourism sector and comment on some of the debates surrounding this often controversial area.  I will now be focusing on a new blog which is on my website.  If you like this blog, please do follow my new blog.

www.responsiblevolunteering.co.uk/blog

 

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About natashastein

I'm interested in travel, learning about other countries and cultures, responsible tourism, environmental issues and wildlife. I like being outdoors and beautiful scenery can really move me and reinvigorate me. I enjoy walking and am planning to get a rescue dog to keep me company on my strolls. I also love to write stuff. I've set up my own website (www.responsiblevolunteering.co.uk), written blogs on topics I'm interested in and written various articles about volunteering overseas. I've always enjoyed writing in my previous jobs. I'm a bit of a creative all rounder - I can draw and make things. It's something I'd like to do more of! I love art and photography and go to exhibitions when I can. I am currently teaching English as a second language in Worcestershire, where I live. I have an eclectic career story. My professional background is in travel and tourism and the charity sector. I have worked for a major holiday company, specialist tour operator and coordinated a University alumni travel programme. Most recently I've worked for a Destination Management Organisation and local government tourism department focusing on promoting the Cotswolds primarily via social media. I also worked for VSO, the international development volunteering charity for 6 years as a Volunteer and Placement Adviser and have done bits and bobs of volunteering with different charities.
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2 Responses to New responsible volunteering website and blog

  1. davidmcoles says:

    Hi Natasha, this looks great! Well done. I think what would make the website even stronger would be to post users to other websites that have information about this topic as well. This would mean that your site could act as a hub of information. Very happy to help with this if you would like. Completely up to you though and well done

    • natashastein says:

      Hi David
      Thanks for your message. I’d definitely like to add a “useful resources” section to the website and include links to other websites. If you have any suggestions, that would be great. I can’t include any links to actual volunteering organisations as I’d like to keep the website impartial and not recommend (or criticise!) particular organisations. However if there are any general websites which contain useful information and advice, I can include these. I’d also like to include websites which would make useful background reading for anyone preparing to volunteer, e.g. websites about development.
      Natasha

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