Plan My Gap Year

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK.

About the Project

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK. We provide safe, affordable, need-driven volunteer programmes from 1 to 24 weeks in 11 countries worldwide.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT US…

Founded by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Year works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact on the world.

We work extremely hard to ensure that our opportunities are affordable for everyone who wants to make a difference. So fees are 100% transparent, something our volunteers really appreciate.

Plan My Gap Year structured programmes create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in our host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with us. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure our set up is safe and that our volunteers are making a positive impact.

There is also a great social element to our programmes. Plan My Gap Year puts you in touch with all your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way. Plus you’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel the country with your newfound travel buddies – it’s all part of the PMGY experience!

So if you’re thinking of doing something a bit different on your next trip abroad, then why not drop us a line and find out what extraordinary things you could be doing.

AFFORDABLE & TRANSPARENT FEES

Our aim is to make our programmes accessible to motivated travellers irrespective of their financial capacity. Plan My Gap Year focuses on providing the core requirements of a volunteer programme: safety, structure and sustainability.

We are 100% transparent with our fees. That way you know exactly how much of your money goes towards the local community.

Compared to the large majority of volunteer organisations out there, even most charities and not-for-profits, PMGY’s opportunities are significantly cheaper. Furthermore, as our reviews will testify, our support service and structured programmes are second to none.

SAFETY & RISK MANAGEMENT

Your safety is our top priority. All of Plan My Gap Years' programmes have been personally inspected and vetted by the PMGY team – which is not an industry standard by any means. We carry out independent risk assessments on an annual basis and our local teams constantly review the safety precautions we implement. This includes regular staff and safety appraisals.

 Our local teams are made up of highly experienced volunteer coordinators. They have hosted international volunteers for many years and are prepared to react in the unlikely event of an emergency. Whatever the problem, big or small, our local teams are available around the clock.

As part of our commitment to your safety, we keep in constant communication with local embassies and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure we can identify potentially dangerous situations and act upon them immediately. Our UK team are available 24/7 to assist volunteers and their families.

TRAINING & SUPPORT

We support our volunteers every step of the way. Before you go we will provide you with a detailed Volunteer Handbook, which will guide you through how to prepare for your trip. This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides.

Our experienced UK team are always available to provide assistance. Plan My Gap Year is always available to answer our questions and support you in anyway we can. 

On arrival, a member of our in-country team will collect you from the airport and help you settle in. Your orientation course will teach you everything you need to know about the country, how to stay safe and what to expect from your upcoming volunteer experience. 

Our local team are on-call 24/7. Whether you’ve lost your passport or just want some help in planning a weekend trip, our friendly in-country coordinators provide that safety net to ensure you are well looked after.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Plan My Gap Years' responsibility is not limited to our travellers but also the projects we support. That is why all our volunteers must provide a Criminal Background Check before they travel.

It is essential that our projects are need-driven and sustainable. We work closely with our local partners to ensure that our volunteers are contributing to bring about long-term development.

PERSONAL TOUCH

We really know our programmes. Our UK team have stayed in the accommodation, volunteered at the projects and met the volunteers. We carefully assess each application we receive so that your personality and skills are suited to the project. Whatever your query, you can feel assured that you will be speaking to someone who can tell you exactly what to expect.

HAVING FUN

One of the best aspects of volunteering is meeting some amazing like-minded people. We place over 2,000 volunteers every year so wherever and whenever you go, you have the peace of mind in knowing you will be living and working alongside other PMGY volunteers. In many of our destinations, we run our own Volunteer House accommodation, which ensures all volunteers live together, and therefore guaranteeing a strong social element. In addition, our local team are always there to help you plan any independent travel or give you some tips for what to do at the weekend.

Social Impact

There are a number of cultural and social factors we take into account when establishing our volunteer programmes. Plan My Gap Year works on two fundamental principles. 

Firstly, our volunteers are there to serve and not be served. 

Secondly, each destination comes with its own socio-cultural value system.

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Plan My Gap Year recognise that we have a fundamental duty of care towards children and vulnerable adults. We acknowledge our responsibilities to keep them safe while engaged in our programmes and activities.

PMGY are committed to the welfare of children and vulnerable adults around the world. We oppose all forms of abuse (including physical, sexual, emotional, and intentional neglect), discrimination, exploitation, and manipulation of children as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Plan My Gap Year is an international volunteer placement organisation that connects people to grass-roots projects in the developing world. Our aim is to bring people together for a common good. We assist thousands of people each year to make a positive impact with their trips abroad.

Some of the Long Terms Benefits for communities worldwide:

  • Learning and improving English both written and oral is generally seen as key to educational development and prosperity. We provide free structured after school English lessons in a number of our destinations.
  • Local employment – Our local team expands to include cooks, cleaners, co-ordinators at projects, transport drivers and these employment opportunities are underpinned through the set ups we create and develop with our partner countries.
  • Wider community/Economic benefit – A lot of our destinations are in local towns where small independent shops, private taxis, tuk tuks, local restaurants and businesses all benefit from increased trade that comes with volunteers in the local area.
  • Long lasting legacies created in the community for the community to benefit from. 

Leaving a lasting legacy

One of the greatest challenges for all volunteer organisations is how do they keep the projects sustainable. PMGY place over 2,000 volunteers each year and have a regular supply of volunteers throughout the year. So there is always someone who can continue with the work and therefore maintain a consistent level of backing. We also manage the number of volunteers each programme receives to keep it consistent, capping volunteer numbers when a project reaches capacity.

Economic Impact

PMGY’s programmes are self-funded with the volunteer’s programme fees financially supporting the projects in our network. The communities and projects we support bear no financial burden for receiving the support of our volunteers. 

International volunteers provide a welcome source of income and employment opportunities within the local community. Examples include local shopkeepers, transportation providers, tour guides, hoteliers etc. In each destination our direct-workforce is made up of 5-10 people (they continue to grow) and are diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity and age. 

Environmental Impact

Plan My Gap Year recognises that there are a number of ways that we as an organisation can reduce the environmental impact of our work starting with training our volunteers before they set-off on their placements. The training ranges from warning volunteers about purchasing un-ethically sourced products; to giving practical tips that include bringing reusable water bottles and drinking boiled water as opposed to purchasing plastic water bottles. In our accommodation we implement measures to reduce our energy and water consumption. Plan My Gap Year also avoids, where possible, the use of harmful products such as pesticides and cleaning products and always opt for environmentally friendly alternatives where we can.
Foundation Year
2011
Contact Person
Josh McEnaney
Where can you volunteer?
What can you do?

Reviews of Plan My Gap Year