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Volunteer in the UK

Unforgettable experiences, challenge and leadership development for younger adventurers age 13-16.

About our UK Expedition

Join the Raleigh UK Expedition for 13-16 year-olds. An unforgettable adventure that’s all about unlocking your potential, acquiring life-changing skills and having a blast! Embrace the challenge of voyaging in the leadership sailing phase and discover beautiful landscapes on your environmental project.

The best part? You don’t need any prior sailing experience – just your enthusiasm and a thirst for adventure!

This Expedition will take place in July 2024 and there are only 14 spaces available. *9 places left!!

No sailing experience required
13 – 16 year-olds

Our UK Expedition for 13-16 year olds

For a more detailed itinerary download the brochure.

01. Adventure Leadership Sail

A voyage on board the Prolific is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, face new challenges, overcome fears and achieve things you didn’t think you would be able to do.

We are partnering with the fantastic Ocean Youth Trust for the first phase of the Expedition.

Whether or not you have ever sailed before, if you join a voyage on the Prolific you will be treated as a valuable member of the crew right from the start, and you will be actively involved in every aspect of sailing the boat. That means hoisting and lowering sails, steering, getting involved with navigation, anchoring, cooking and keeping watch (including night sailing).

Qualified watch leaders are always around to show you what to do and answer any questions.

02. Environmental

For the second phase of your Expedition, we are excited to be working with Till the Coast is Clear set up and run by a Raleigh Alumni!

You will be regenerating places and people by clearing shorelines of plastic pollution using special recyclable boats and a fleet of kayaks made from recycled fishing nets.

Improving the condition of our natural environment and connecting people to the great outdoors for improved physical and mental health is what Till the Coast is Clear calls ‘Active Regeneration’ and it works.

You will be taking part in activities including seashore and coastal clearing, foraging and kayaking.

Accommodation 

You’ll be staying in outdoor learning centre based in beautiful Beeson, South Devon, one mile from the stunning beach at Beesands. This will be your fieldbase for Phase Two. You will be camping in canvas tents. Other facilities include:

  • eco-barn powered by wind turbine and solar panels
  • compost loos and solar powered showers
  • private woodland

Meals 

  • Breakfast: from pancakes to bacon butty’s but will always include cereal and fruit.
  • Lunch: Packed lunch is all laid out on a table, and then the volunteers come and prepare what they would like for their lunch.
  • Dinner: from local burgers and burritos to pizza and curry.

Meals are cooked outside on the fire cage at field base. On the voyage each meal is normally cooked by two crew members (you), with the help of one of the sea staff.

What can I expect on my Raleigh Expedition?

Everyone’s Expedition is slightly different – depending on how long you stay when you go and where. This is an outline of what you can expect from a 10-week Expedition. For a more in-depth description of life on a Costa Rica Expedition, including camp life and project info, download your sample itinerary.

Phase One: Adventure Leadership Sail

Day 1: Saturday 20th July 

Arrive at Brixham Harbour by 14:00 where the Ocean Youth Trust Team and a Raleigh member of Staff will greet you.

  • You’ll find your bunk and somewhere to stow your gear, and you’ll meet the other crew members.
  • Next comes the skipper’s introductory chat. This is designed to make you feel at home on board Prolific, and to tell you some of the basics about living on board. The key thing is to encourage you to make the most of the voyage: whatever energy and enthusiasm you put in, the sea staff will match and beat it.
  • Then you’ll be divided into teams, or watches, with one of the staff as your watchleader. You’ll be shown around the boat below deck, and given your waterproof gear, lifejacket and safety harness. You’ll learn how they work and how to fit them, and there will be a safety briefing.
  • We will get to know each other with some classic Raleigh ice-breakers!
  • We’ll all get together to talk about where we want to go, given the weather, the tide and the strength of the crew. We might go further along the English coast, or perhaps we’ll be able to sail to France or the Channel Islands.
The fun begins! 

When you’re ready to sail, one watch will take charge of the boat and the others will be off duty for a few hours. The watch on deck will be steering, adjusting sails, keeping lookout, and helping with navigation. The crew might keep sailing through the night, which can be an amazing experience under clear starry skies, with each watch taking their turn while the others sleep.

When you visit a harbour during the voyage, we’ll aim to give everyone chance to go ashore, look around or buy souvenirs.

Day 7: Friday 26th July – 10am – End of Phase One 

By the end of the trip, you should be confidently playing your part in the team, helping to sail the boat.

You may well have done at least one thing you never thought you’d be able to do; you could have earned a recognised sailing qualification – and you’ll probably have made several good friends.

Changeover: Anchoring the Journey – from Sailing to Land Exploration!

Day 7 continued:

For the next phase of your Expedition, your fieldbase will be the Forest and Beach nature residential based in the beautiful South Hams, Devon.

You will be picked up from the harbour on a bus, your Raleigh leader will be with you and there will be an additional Raleigh leader to meet you.

Once you arrive at fieldbase, you will have time to relax set up camp and reflect on your incredible voyage on the Prolific.

  • Allocate tents and get set-up
  • Admin – washing any clothes and prepare for the days ahead
  • Celebration of successfully completing Phase One and hopes for the final phase

On Friday night, we will take a walk to Beesands beach for our evening meal. There will be time for beach exploration, paddling (if weather permits) and time to explore the beach!

Phase Two: Environmental Project

Day 8: Saturday 27th July: Coast Cleaning Adventure

10 -3pm: An adventurous walk / scramble around a section of South Devon coast where it is likely we will encounter significant amounts of plastic pollution.

You will spend the day on the coast immersed in nature recovering what you can to help keep it free of hazards for wildlife – we will stop for lunch and potentially a wild swim!

3pm onwards:

  • Travel back to fieldbase and chill time and activities
  • Dinner
  • Evening activity: Archery and Forest School session in the woods
Day 9: Sunday 28th July – Seashore and Coastal Foraging

A really empowering experience delivered by an expert, focused on seaweeds and easily identifiable hedgerow greens, with elements of bushcraft and opportunities to try cooked and prepared foraged foods in a spectacular coastal environment.

3pm onwards:

  • Travel back to fieldbase and chill time and activities
  • Dinner
  • Evening activity
Day 10: Monday 29th July – Circular Kayaking Adventure
Volunteers will support the maintenance and conservation of existing ecosystems and assist local communities to preserve such a biodiverse nature.

Using Till the Coast is Clear’s double kayaks made from recycled fishing nets & post consumer waste the team will paddle down a beautiful estuary learning about the local ecology as they go before completing the circular journey with a hike back to the starting point.

There will be lunch/snack stops and good opportunities for discussion about circular thinking and practices including a shoreline clean up.

3pm onwards:

  • Travel back to fieldbase and chill time and activities
  • Dinner
End of Expedition celebrations.

You will enjoy an evening together reflecting on your Expedition achievements, have a celebration award ceremony followed by our final walk and paddle on the beach.

ENDEX: Expedition Wrap Up

Day 11: Tuesday 30th July – 10am Pick Up

UK Expedition Dates & Costs

We are running only one UK Expedition in 2024. There are 14 places up for grabs! 

9 SPACES AVAILABLE! Applications close 30ths April

CYCLE 2

JULY 2024

10 nights

20th July – 30th July 2024
£1,850$2,320$2,320$2,320

10 SPACES AVAILABLE!

Apply now

What’s included

  • All food, transport and accommodation during the Expedition
  • 24-hour support from Expedition and Head Office staff
  • Safety expertise
  • Extensive pre-departure information and support
  • Project training & equipment
  • Exclusive kit discounts & advice
  • Raleigh t-shirt

Not Included

  • Personal kit
  • Travel insurance

A full breakdown of whats included and not included along with a pre-departure pack to help you prepare will be provided on booking.

How to apply

Apply online

All you need to do is fill in an online application form.

APPLY NOW

Screening

If your application is successful, we’ll ask for more information in a booking form and a deposit of £200$200$200$200.

Confirmation

Your volunteer coordinator will send you all the information you need about your Raleigh Expedition.

Pre-departure

Get ready for your Expedition – we’ll support you all the way!

Are you interested in joining the UK Expedition as Project Coordinator?
Get in touch

Are you 25+?

Take a leading role in the Raleigh UK Expedition as a Project Coordinator. In this Venturer Manager position you will be the driving force behind the adventure, leading and supporting young Venturers on this transformative two-week journey.

This Venturer Manager role is for someone over the age of 25 who are looking to develop their leadership skills and inspire our Venturers. You’ll be passionate about creating a impact on the Expedition and on the young Venturers you’ll be working with.

Your leadership, project management and organisational skills will ensure the that the UK Expedition is an unforgettable and amazing adventure. 

Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation call

Whether you have a specific question or want to discuss which Expedition is right for you, schedule a call with a member of the team at a time convenient to you. 

Join an info event

On our monthly online info events, we’ll tell you all about Expedition. Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.

UK Expedition FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Raleigh Expedition UK

Will I need to do any training before I arrive?

All volunteers are invited to attend a Pre-Expedition Training Event to meet other volunteers and here more about Expedition.

What sort of food will I be eating?

On the voyage:

Whether you’re sailing or not, the boat’s daily routines continue. Each meal is normally cooked by two crew members (you), with the help of one of the sea staff.

Don’t panic if you can’t imagine yourself cooking a meal for 18 people – it’s a great way to learn!

On the environmental project:

  • Breakfast: variety, from pancakes to bacon butty’s but will always include cereal and fruit.
  • Lunch: Packed lunch is all laid out on a table, and then the volunteers come and prepare what they would like for their lunch.
  • Dinner: from local burgers and burritos to pizza and curry. Meals are cooked outside on the fire cage.

How far in advance should I book?

We recommend you apply and book your place as soon as possible as there are only 14 places on this Expedition.

How much money do I need to take with me?

You do not need to bring any money with you, however, if you would like to buy souvenirs or extra snacks then you can bring a small amount.

What are the pick up and drop off times?

  • Drop off 14:00 20th July 2024, Brixham Harbour, Devon
  • Pick up 10:00 30th July 2024, Forest and Beach Fieldbase

I’ve never been sailing before, and I’m worried about not knowing what to do?

Every week we have lots of people who have never sailed before. The staff will explain things, show you what to do, and let you practise. There are so many different things to do on board, everyone can find something to enjoy and learn new skills. 

What about toilets and showers?

Boat toilets look just like normal toilets but are flushed in a different way to toilets ashore – it will all be explained when you arrive. There are no showers on board, but when in harbour there may be shower facilities that you can use. The toilets on board are individual and gender neutral. 

What if I get ill?

Some people may be seasick, but it hardly ever lasts more than a day or two. Bring your own seasickness pills or remedies from your pharmacy. Seasickness medication can make you drowsy so make sure you let staff know what you’re taking. The majority of staff are first aid trained, and at least one of the staff will be trained in dealing with illness or injury at sea; and we’ll get you to a doctor ashore as quickly as possible if necessary. You do need to tell us in advance about any condition you already have and bring any medication with you. You MUST inform a member of staff on arrival of ANY medication you bring with you. They will then discuss with you whether it is appropriate for you to keep the medication, or whether it should be kept safely for you. 

How fast does the boat go?

Our average speed is about 6 knots (nautical miles per hour) – that’s about 7 land miles per hour. The maximum speed under sail can be well over 10 knots. Under engine the maximum speed is actually less: only 7 or 8 knots. This might sound quite slow, but it feels much faster when you are sailing! 

I am interested in navigation / engines / weather etc. Can I get involved?

Tell your watch leader at the start of the trip, and we’ll make every effort to help you learn more about anything which particularly interests you. 

Can I work towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award on board?

Some voyages can count as your residential. Make sure you bring your record book along and tell the skipper or your watch leader at the START of your trip – then we can help you set some goals to track your progress. 

Can we go ashore?

You’ll have the opportunity to go ashore when the boat is in harbour. This might be for showers, shopping, a beach trip, BBQs, or local sightseeing. All toilets on board are gender neutral, but the toilets and shower facilities ashore tend not to be.

What is the phones policy?

Volunteers will not have access to their phones on the project phases but will be allowed their phones on changeover if they wish to call home. Part of our mission at Raleigh International is to empower young people to become proactive global citizens who can confidently navigate the challenges of the world.

We understand the natural instinct of parents and guardians to be in constant communication with their young volunteers. However, we see this period of detachment as an essential part of the learning experience.

Benefits include:

  • Being present in the moment
  • independent decision making
  • Taking responsibility for choices and actions
  • Builds resilience
  • Develop skills needed to face uncertainty with confidence
  • Improved mental health
  • Stronger connections and communication skills

Is there a Code of Conduct?

We expect all our staff and volunteers to uphold high standards of behaviour and attitude. In order to support the safe and positive delivery of our programmes, we ask all volunteers to sign up to our Code of Conduct. Anyone who fails to abide by it may be asked leave programme.