Original Volunteers

Original Volunteers used to offer the chance to change your life, re-charge your batteries, do some of the most crucial work you will ever have done, earn new skills, gain self-confidence, make friends for life and improve your CV from as little as £12 per week.

Original Volunteers was the UK’s leading independent volunteering specialist sending particiapnts to more than 100 projects across 18 countries. Placements were ethical, flexible, low-cost and tailored to you.

Original Volunteers have ceased trading and programs are permanently closed. For similar organisations please browse our volunteering pages.

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Original Volunteers Reviews


I travelled to Ghana with Original Volunteers in 2014 during the university summer holidays. This was the second trip that I took with them, having travelled to Morocco in 2013. Being a solo, female traveler, I was quite nervous beforehand, but OV were very reliable and helpful. Being a student, I didn't have much money, so if you're looking for a good organization which is also great value for money, I'd recommend them.

Having the weekends to travel around the country showed me how amazing it was, and I hope to visit again in the future. The only downside was the zoo which OV recommend in Kumasi. It is simply horrendous and needs closing down immediately. Animals there had broken legs, their ribs sticking were out, etc. The owner of the zoo did not seem to see this as a problem. I messaged OV a while ago asking if they still encourage volunteers to visit this place and they said they did and have no plans to discontinue this. OV need to stop funneling tourism to this place as it's just encouraging this cycle of animal abuse. They also now support a crocodile pond, which is also something shunned by the main tourist travelling agencies due to the animal welfare concerns.

If they moved away from these exploitative activities, they'd be fantastic due to the location, the projects, and the team out there. :)

By: Amy
Nationality: British
Age: 24

Life Changing

YouTube Roaming with Rome to see my review

By: Rome
Nationality: USA
Age: 30

Excellent company

OV were very helpful! It made the experience that much more special knowing that I could rest easy with the support of OV

By: Sanchez Uppal
Nationality: British
Age: 26

Ghana original volunteer

I spend 2 weeks in Ghana in Mpraeso. Was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. Ollie Dom and Richard look after us so well. Never felt safer. Tgey Always insisting in coming with us and make sure we were safe ... even on week end when was out free time. Our safety was their priority .   Rebecca and Fred the coordinator also were very efficient and happy to help for any issue. In general people are super friendly big smile on their face and felt very welcome everywhere we have been . We were free to choose our daily activity and also how to interact with the kids. Def we have to use our initiative and never forget that we are in a different place respecting the way they do things is the base - I believe - for embrace and really get involved . Be patient... thigs are much slower ... but that's the way it is :)

We stay in a very small village . If you like peaceful silent place ... just noise of the animals....
If you love to connect with locals and get deeper in to the culture ( with the good and the bad ..  no one is perfect ... ) that's the place 4 u.

By: Alessandra
Nationality: Italian
Age: 38

A summer in Ghana

I went to volunteer in Ghana summer 2016 after graduating from university with a friend. From start to end the experience was exceptional! Picked up from the airport and taken to a lovely house where we were greeted and fed by the house supervisors who went on to be ever so helpful! They came with us to the schools and volunteer sites everyday and we're a great help with translating- although we did not need much help as all the locals spoke English even though we were 4 hours from the capital!
The experience with the children at the schools and attending outreach projects in remote villages every week truly cannot be described. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to escape the hustle of real life and come and experience a different reality.
Tips: bring extra money for taxis and weekend excursions as they are well worth it! And leave plenty of space in your stomach for local delicacies!!

By: Afsana
Nationality: British
Age: 24

Volunteering in Marakech

I was 19 and decided I wanted to experience a different culture to my own and volunteer abroad.
I can honestly say my experience with original volunteers is one I won’t forget. The support and guidance you receive from the staff from start to finish is incredible. They allow you to get involved in many different places around the city, from baby orphanages, to schools with children with disabilities. I loved being able to meet all these wonderful children and see that they enjoyed mine. Getting to and from all these places was organised by the staff and there are rotas so you know what you will be doing each day.

As well as the volunteering you get to really experience the culture. I stayed during eid, which is a holiday celebrated by Muslims. Before visiting marakech I had no understanding of this holiday and traditions. But thanks to the staff we were able to experience the celebrations and even attend a party held by locals. During my stay I was really able to learn and experience different things, the staff there even made us morrocan tea and coffees to try.

The staff there also helped to arrange days off and excursion, so we didn’t need to worry about doing it ourselves. I took a trip to the Sahara, rode camels during sunset and even got to camp in the desert. This was an incredible experience and I am very thankful it was organised for us.

If you’re looking for an incredible experience with plenty of support for a reasonable price then then this is for you!

By: Jessica
Nationality: British
Age: 22

If you haven’t been, you must!

Original volunteers offer an experience like no other. I went to Ghana with them where I helped in local schools - painting, teaching and generally playing with the kids. You are left fully in charge of your own volunteering and decide precise how you want to help. It was a truly life changing experience that even now, I have to pinch myself to believe. On weekend you are given the opportunity to explore the area as you wish so not only did we teach Monday- Friday but we also had some amazing experiences on the weekends. We went on a safari, learnt about slavery and relaxed on a beach resort. Original volunteers offered me an amazing experience and I urge you to persue your dream in booking to travel with them!

By: Katie
Nationality: British
Age: 23


I booked my first trip to Ghana in 2013, with the intention of spending 6 fun weeks volunteering on a budget with two of my best friends. I developed an immediate love for the country and the overall experience, and have now been back 3 more times. The organisation is extremely well run. You are kept very safe and looked after by a great team who are a vital part in your trip, and are hard not to love. You meet (mostly) amazing, fun, like-minded people, and most of my closest friends now are people i met on my trips. There are lots of different options available to you with regards to volunteering projects; they are involved with numerous schools, building projects, healthcare and libraries. The team also organise outreaches in which you have the chance to deliver food, medicines, clothes and water supplies to the poorest areas. Your free time is also to be made the most of... The beaches, waterfalls and history of ghana create so many incredible opportunities for you to experience.
You will have no regrets choosing to volunteer in Ghana!

By: Sarah
Nationality: British
Age: 23


I flew to Morocco this summer to volunteer with original volunteers after finding it online. It was the first time I had flown or travelled by myself and was nervous I wasn't going to make friends out there. The experience was AMAZING. From picking you up at the airport and taking you to lunch when you arrive everything was so well organised and everything I previously worried about went away on the first day. I met the best group of people, most of them had also travelled by themselves so it was really easy to make friends, and the coordinators do an amazing job. They make sure you know what you're doing each day and accompany you with volunteering, whilst also giving you the right amount of independence in the evenings. 10/10 would recommend, and travel again with original volunteers. I stayed for 2 weeks but could well have gone another!

By: Sophie
Nationality: British
Age: 19

Volunteering in Ghana

Volunteering through Original Volunteers was literally the best experience of my entire life. Me and my husband went to stay in the poorest area of Ghana when we were just boyfriend and girlfriend and it just made our relationship solid as we pulled together. There is a massive culture shock at first but the volunteer guide was the nicest man and very quickly made us feel at home. We stayed in a building with around 8 other volunteers and they had a local woman who would come in and cook any food you bought and clean up. We did a range of activities. Teaching, building shelter for schools and community areas, taking care of younger children etc. It's a massively rewarding experience and is flexible with what you want to do on each day. You are given options and could choose which best suited you. You also choose how long you stay so you're not pressured into staying a certain length of time and if you want to leave early for any reason, you're completely free to do so. Would definitely recommend this company for volunteering. Unforgettable experience

By: Aimee Carr
Nationality: British
Age: 26

Magical Morocco

My trip to Morocco honestly changed my life. I first went at Christmas in 2015 and again in October 2016. I can’t wait to go again. The culture, the people, the place is so wonderful. The projects are fun and interactive. I met some of the kindest, happiest children in the world. Your guides are amazing. You will not regret going to Marrakech I promise you. It’s a very special place.

By: Justine Pemberton
Nationality: British
Age: 27

Book it!! You wont regret it. :)

I volunteered in Morocco in May 2017 for 10 days. The programme was suggested to me by a friend of a friend while I was endlessly searching to volunteer abroad. The booking process was very easy with the help of the admin team at Original Volunteers. They send you a pack with all of the information that you need along with a useful time line on when you need to do things. I have never volunteered with children before so I was a little nervous on how the 10 days would go, as was my friend who came with me.
We arrived and was greeted by Adil (project coordinator) at the airport. Adil took the 3 of us that landed that day out to show us where the shops were and help us get an idea of the area of where we were staying. We stopped for lunch and got to know Adil and the other volunteer and asked lots of questions which Adil was more than happy to answer. Adil took us to our accommodation and explained the ropes which left us feeling comfortable and excited to start the volunteering the next day.
The other volunteers arrived back at the accommodation after their volunteering project and introduced themselves. Ayoub (project coordinator) cooked a lovely curry for all of the volunteers on our first night. This was so lovely as we got to know the other volunteers well on our first night there.
After a comfortable night sleep we arrived at the Baby Orphanage which was the perfect first project for me. The babies and toddlers looked so well cared for and loved cuddled. I took a few little toys with me which went down well with them. I could have spent all day there having cuddles and watching their little characters. Projects are usually half a day so in between the projects you have time to get some food, relax and prepare material for the next project. The second project was at a lovely Orphanage for children aged 4-5. The children are all so lovely and are so keen to learn. One boy was even teaching me French! They are happy children that want to learn and play. I couldn't have asked for a better first day. I could tell you in detail every day but this review will be way too long!
In a nutshell I can tell you that I had the most amazing time. The Project coordinators are the nicest people that I have ever met. Adil, Ayoub and Rachid. They answer any questions that you have, silly questions too. I had a few of those!
The teachers at the Orphanages are so grateful towards the volunteers and step in if you need them. They also like to get involved with the crafts.
Every single Orphanage that I went to was lovely. The kindness and simplicity of every single one left me feeling really positive.
The accommodation is a lovely, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. I loved the roof terrace. It is clean and everyone respected the place.
The other volunteers were all very friendly. I never thought that I could go anywhere alone until I did this trip. I had my friend with me but all of the other volunteers came alone. Everyone got on really well as we were all 'like minded' people. I have kept in touch with the people I met there. I have even gone back to Morocco to climb the Atlas Mountains with one of them. We have another trip back to Morocco planned for next year too. It's safe to say that I have fallen in love with the place.
If I can give you some advise, it would be to take craft material with you. Glue was something that we were really low of at the time. Check with the Original Volunteer admin team if you are unsure on what to take. Half of my suitcase was project bits.
There is always an overlap of volunteers so you can get advise from the volunteers that have been there for a while when you first arrive. I was a little nervous about walking around Marrakesh alone before I arrived but I never had to do that. The volunteers stick together, you will never be alone. Marrakesh is the same as any big city, if you take the usual steps to stay safe, you will be fine.
Woman should wear appropriate clothing in order to feel comfortable and not attract unwanted attention. Have knees and shoulders covered out of respect of their religion.
I WILL be volunteering with Original Volunteers again. I tell anyone who will listen how good it is!

By: Kelly Rippingale
Nationality: British
Age: 30

Morocco volunteering

Spent a week volunteering in Morocco and absolutely loved it!! Would love to go back!!!

By: Fredalyne King
Nationality: British
Age: 26

Teaching Thailand

Original volunteers were very helpful, prompt with emails and answering questions. They organised our pick up from the airport and where we were staying for two weeks.
My friend and I loved the volunteering that we did and will definitely volunteer again through Original Volunteers. Thankyou

By: Gina
Nationality: British
Age: 28

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