What are Grown-up Specials?
Our Grown-up Specials are specially-designed two week placements for older volunteers – those aged 50 and over. As a volunteer, you will work alongside a group of like-minded people your own age and follow a daily schedule arranged by our local staff.
Depending on the placement you choose, activities will include teaching at an underprivileged school, assisting with building work in a township, caring for children and participating in community outreach activities.
During your placement, you will stay with a host family, who will welcome you into their home and share their culture with you. In your time off, you will have the chance to visit local tourist attractions.
While travelling and volunteering abroad may seem like an intimidating prospect, Projects Abroad staff are on hand to support you every step of the way, from our pre-departure volunteer advisors to our destination staff who are available 24/7 for anything you might need.
Our Grown-up Specials offer older volunteers the chance to embark on a meaningful travel experience. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore a new destination, learn a new skill, experience a completely different culture and most importantly, share your wisdom and life skills. You can sign-up for these projects alone, as a couple or in a group, and choose a placement that suits your interests.
We’re looking for people who enjoy working with children, as most of our Grown-up Special projects involve caring for children to some degree, whether it’s playing games or teaching basic numeracy, literacy and hygiene skills. There is no need to have specific vocational skills to join one of these programmes – the invaluable experience and life skills you’ve gained over the years makes you an ideal fit for these placements!
Still not sure if a Grown-up Special is for you? Take a look at the other options available for our older volunteers.
Whether you find yourself teaching children to read or helping with renovation work at a care centre, you will be making a tangible difference to our efforts in-country. Each of our trips is designed for volunteers to have the most impact possible at their placement.
The skills and experience that you’ve gained over the years are much needed, and can make a hugely positive impact in the lives of the people you interact with on these projects.
It’s a great way to give back to others, and spend your time and abilities doing something useful and worthwhile that will support a local community and encourage cultural exchange.
"People in my circle of friends thought that volunteering is for teenagers, people on gap years and definitely not for the over 30’s, but with my daughters grown and gone, I grew more and more restless. I wanted to feel useful and help people...I now know that I am capable of much more than I thought, both physically and emotionally. And I loved that time which was all mine but which I gladly shared with strangers; I loved the work I did, the people I met, the country and the culture so different from mine but at the same time, with lots of common points. I came back feeling younger, fitter and richer in what really counts - confidence, experience, knowledge and understanding and I cannot wait to volunteer again."
Florbela Blenkinsop, Peru