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The Project Trust, Coll

project trustThe Jo Walters Trust has made a grant of £2,000 to the Project Trust who are based on the Isle of Coll on the West Coast of Scotland.  They send volunteers away to do worthwhile projects - teaching, social care, outward bound and journalism. All of the volunteer training happens on the Isle of Coll which they see as being the first challenge for a lot of the participants - making their way across Scotland!  Whilst this is a 'Gap Year' opportunity for people, it offers considerable benefit to both the volunteers and the island community of Coll.

Below is a synopsis from the Project Trust describing what they do:

'We are currently still selecting volunteers to go overseas next August for a year (about 30 will be on our eight month program) and we expect to have 290 to 300 in total. About 75% will be in teaching projects, ranging from primary schools to TESOL classes for 18 to 22 year olds.  We have a few outward bound projects and the rest are social care projects, ranging from orphanages in Peru to working in AIDS clinics in South Africa. As part of their commitment to their gap year we ask our volunteers to fundraise a minimum of £5,400 to help cover the cost of the year. We add about £700 to this ourselves. We pay and arrange flights, insurance, accommodation and pocket money in the projects, training on Coll, and in some countries we also organise language courses. The fundraising is a challenge to all the volunteers as it requires balancing their final year at school with learning new skills like formal letter writing, arranging events with venues and motivating their friends. Some find this much more of a challenge and to offer these extra help we have a small bursary fund. We allocate this to our struggling volunteers and we would expect them to write reports or send newsletters to the various fund providers.'

The Jo Walters Trust have provided funding for volunteers that perhaps come from a less fortunate background and are struggling to hit the £5,400 required for each project.  It's a daunting sum of money to raise and it is appropriate for the JWT to provide additional funding to people who may otherwise not be able to get involved in something like this.

The Project Trust will select four volunteers that they felt had showed initiative in trying to raise the money for their project, but were struggling to hit the target.  There will be 4 x £500 grants from the JWT and each volunteer that receives the grant will keep a diary of their time on the project out there.  We will hopefully be able to share images, diary entries and video diaries on our website once they are received.

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