A GROUP of Ainthorpe and Danby residents are witing to discover if their voluntary organisation, whih helps disadvantaged people around the globe, has been given official charity status.
Joe Taylor and Jonathan Hill (both 24), from Ainthorpe, and Nathan Bye (26), from Danby, are part of a group called Volunteers for Volunteers and are expecting a decision on their organisation’s status any day now.
The group arranges voluntary trips to Cameroon, Nepal and Thailand and has been established as an alternative to the “big business” voluntary tourism that has recently emerged.
Mr Bye said: “Voluntary tourism has become big business and a lot of organisations are making a lot of money from it.
“These organisations are making a lot of money, some charging betweem £1,000-£1,500 for a month’s volunteering.
“We know from experience it doesn not cost anywhere near that price.
“At VFV we thought that this was wrong and decided to make volunteering at one of our projects financially accessible to everyone, with the money that is donated going directly to the projects we support.”
Mr Bye initially decided to volunteer in Limbe, Cameroon, on a whim, but after discovering the hardships felt by the people living there he decided to take a more active role in getting aid to the region.
He added: “The problems in Limbe are real and heartbreaking.
“Having personally lived in Limbe I have seen the forest being destroyed and children living in abject poverty.
“The organisations we support are made up mainly of volunteers and help the whole community.”
As a non-profit organisation the group asks for a donation of £100 a week for the first month’s volunteering followed by £75 a week afterwards.
Less than half of this money goes towards living costs such as transport, food and accommodation, with the remainder going direct to the organisations being helped.
The group provides everything that a volunteer needs while on the trip and also helps preparation beforehand, including offering advice on fund-raising ideas for flights, visa and equipment.
Mr Bye added: “We are currently in preparation to offer the volunteers the opportunity to skydive, bungee jump, carry out sponsored hitch-hikes and even shark dives to raise the cash that they will need to volunteer.
“We do not want money to come in the way of people wanting to volunteer their time to help on our projects so we offer them full support in raising the money.”
For more information about volunteering with the charity visit www.volunteers-for-volunteers.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/volunteersforvolunteers.