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Testimonials and stories from past Raleigh volunteers

Hear some reviews from past volunteers and volunteer managers about their life changing experiences with Raleigh International

“I was not expecting to meet and find friendship with such a diverse set of people. Ages, backgrounds and cultures. The expedition was an incredibly positive experience and that atmosphere was set right from the start.”

Julie, 2023 (US)Raleigh Volunteer

“Raleigh is amazing, the people especially make it...building school(s) and getting to know local communities was by far the most inspirational and rewarding phase out of the 3. Trek was also incredible, taking us all over the country across loads of different communities. Overall it is not what you expect, sometimes frustrating, definitely difficult and super stressful, however with all that included, it was still one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life.”

Michael, 2022 (UK)Raleigh Volunteer

“Going in I felt anxious on what to expect as I have never traveled on my own, however that was quickly taken away by the support and encouragement from all involved, I have never met kinder and more likeminded individuals! The time I shared will forever be cherished and I would gladly put myself forward to do it all over again.”

Gabrielle, 2023 (UK)Raleigh Volunteer

“When I applied to Raleigh I was quite daunted by my initial idea of what Raleigh was. Knowing I would be sleeping on a mat on the floor for ten weeks and it was sort of inspired by the army definitely put me a little on edge. Not something I was used to back home in England. When I was on my flight I noticed some people who looked my age in walking boots carrying their Osprey bags and immediately knew they were Raleigh people. I started to chat to one of them and she became one of my best friends on the expedition. She put me at ease with her mutual nervous trepidation.

The adjustment at the beginning was quite hard, I was running on excitement. But soon I was making the best friends ever and felt like I really belonged.
It was really the people and the landscaped that made Raleigh so brilliant. I had the best time of my life. That it was not something I would naturally do made it even better for me. Some experiences, like getting to the beach after trek and painting a mural on a classroom for indigenous kids, changed me for life and I would say it’s one of the best decisions I ever made to embark on Raleigh. These people are amazing.”

Lily, 2023 (UK)Raleigh Volunteer

“It does not matter if you come in a 50p tshirt or a £100 designer one, with two days they look the same.”

MartinRaleigh Volunteer

“Raleigh isn’t just ‘building a school on a gap year’. It’s so much deeper than that”

JamesRaleigh Volunteer

“Raleigh gave me the drive I needed when I was dealing with a difficult home life.”

EmmaRaleigh Volunteer

“Have now been with Raleigh 3 times. Twice in Tanzania and once in Borneo. Each time I got to see the country and experience a culture that would never have been open to me as a tourist. I respect the organization and believe in their work”

HilaryRaleigh Volunteer

“This is what made it the best 3 months of my life…The people I was with, the place I went to, the difficulties, the unknown, the laughs even when everything seems like it was a bad day, the rubbish food and the amazing food…how the photos make me feel looking back and how everything above made and changed me for the rest of my life.””

StellaRaleigh Volunteer

“I was a kid that had barely left Manchester…I quickly realised that a regional accent, schooling, job prospects didn’t define you. It’s your actions, how you relate to people, building relationships, resilience and your ‘bounce-back-ability’ that do that. My experience with Raleigh really change the direction of my life for the better and gave me the confidence to run my own business.”

TonyRaleigh Volunteer

Raleigh Expedition
Change starts here

On Expedition, you will create unique memories to last a lifetime and partner with communities to identify where change is needed most to create a positive, lasting impact.

“Raleigh friends for life! From all walks of life, coming together to overcome challenges and to accomplish their shared goals together. Absolutely life changing”

AlisonRaleigh Volunteer

“It was the most amazing experience of my life”

AmyRaleigh Volunteer

“The togetherness and the acceptance, the hard work and the culture is (Raleigh’s) instrinsic value.”

JoannaRaleigh Volunteer

“Personally, I took three months out of my communications career in the UK National Health Service, to nurture my love of communications in a challenging new environment. Jaded with the impact I was making in my job back home, my biggest motivation was that, I wanted to feel that I was spending my days really making a difference. Oh, and I really wanted to see the Himalayas.”

UrsulaCommunications Volunteer Manager

“It’s given me a lot more confidence about what to do next, just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you haven’t got those skills and experience. Something I do notice where I’ve perhaps helped younger people is it’s all new to them whereas I’ve seen it all before. That experience does count for quite a bit, so that has been validating.”

KathyLogistics Volunteer Manager

“I’ve done various courses so it’s nice to put some of that into practice. This gives me my first experience of working in these kinds of environments and I plan to take that and go on to do more expedition-type medicine in the future.”

AddisonMedic Volunteer Manager

“I will remember it until the day I die. A truly remarkable experience I will never forget.”

MartinRaleigh Volunteer

“I’ve improved my leadership skills. Before I was an introverted, shy person and now I am talking with other people without hesitation. Before, I was only comfortable sitting with a group of two or three people but now, I’m able to speak within a group of 20 or 30.”

BikalRaleigh Volunteer

“33 years on from Expedition I still feel the positive impact.”

TerryRaleigh Volunteer

What will you learn volunteering with Raleigh International?

On Expedition, you will create unique memories to last a lifetime and partner with communities to identify where change is needed most to create a positive, lasting impact.

“One of the best aspects has been watching young people develop”

GregRaleigh Volunteer Manager

“During the conservation phase my highlight was learning new skills and actively applying them to restore and revive nature.”

EllenRaleigh Volunteer

“You think not having things like WiFi of TV will bug you, but it makes you really appreciate what you have and the people you care about.”

SophieRaleigh Volunteer

“The effect it had on me was profound…on returning I completely changed my career and then went back on Raleigh as a Volunteer Manager. Twenty years later I draw on those experiences regularly both in my professional and personal life.””

AlisonRaleigh Volunteer

“Raleigh is not afraid of giving young people real, and I mean real, adventure.”

MartinRaleigh Volunteer

“On trek, you take turns to be day leader. It’s pretty indescribable, that feeling at the end of the day when everyone’s achieved something and you had a role to play in that. I enjoyed that the most.”

FreddyRaleigh Volunteer