Superstar Lattitude volunteer Georgia volunteered first in the UK as an Outdoor Camp Assistant, and followed that up by joining our Greece Action Project.
Why did you volunteer in Greece?
I decided to volunteer in Greece mainly for a new experience, different to anything I’d done before. I wanted to travel somewhere new while working in an environment very different to what I’d ever experienced. I liked that I could choose how long I stayed for and of course working with animals was a dream.
Tell us about your placement
I volunteered at Stepping Stones Animal Foster Home, which was amazing. The placement was filled with so much love from not only the gorgeous dogs but the people who commit their time helping these dogs find homes. It was so welcoming and there was always time to play with the dogs. Stepping Stones was managed by lovely volunteers, and is run by Madeline, who has a heart of gold and treated every animal like her own pet.
Why do you think it’s an important role?
Stray and lost dogs are so common in Kefalonia – the help we do caring and rehoming them is so vital in minimising the number of strays. It makes a big difference to the number of dogs on the street and seeing them being adopted is amazing, knowing where they’ve come from and when the go to a new loving home is so fulfilling.
A day in the life of a volunteer in Greece?
Working at Stepping Stones meant starting the day walking along the lagoon front to the bus stop and seeing the most amazing big sea turtles feeding every morning – honestly so amazing. Then getting greeted by 50 smiling and happy dogs excited to see you was the cutest thing, you could never be unhappy walking into Stepping Stones and if you were it would change in a second.
When I go there feeding was always first priority, which could be a bit of a challenge on some days. Once feeding was done I’d help clean the runs and poop scoop (always a favourite), made sure all water bowls were full and then of course play and cuddle with all the dogs. Some days we’d also take some dogs for walks and bath them, so cute.
Tell us about your accommodation
The hostel had the most amazing view of Argostoli and was perfect for watching the storms pass by. It had everything you needed and was very cosy but also open and spacious. Great location to both the shops and the beach although walking back up the hill is a bit of a workout out but totally worth it. I shared with one other volunteer and there was plenty of space for us to both do our own thing but also cook together.
Describe Kefalonia to us
Kefalonia has the most amazing beaches, wildlife, views and people. The community of Kefalonia is so incredibly relaxed, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, everyone seems in holiday mode all the time and it’s incredible. The environment Kefalonia has to offer is also amazing, so many different beaches with amazing crystal clear waters and so many amazing bakeries with very tasty pies and cakes.
Did you get to travel much?
I did a fair amount of travel before and after my placement in Greece, I had been in volunteering in England for 7 months before Greece and travelled to Europe during that time as well. After Greece I traveled for 2 weeks before heading home, traveling to countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium. During the placement I saw much of the island and was never disappointed. Kefalonia has so much to explore and so much to offer with all its beaches and villages.
What could you do in your downtime?
When not at Stepping Stones I was usually at the beach, testing the bakeries or napping to recover from the sun. The beaches were easy access from both the accommodation and my placement which led me to spending 90% of my free time swimming in Greek water with lots of fish. Also did a lot of reading because there was no internet but it was very nice.
Being a volunteer in Greece has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I have come to appreciate that everyone is so unique in what they are passionate about and their own story, but it’s was so awesome to see so many different people come together for the same purpose, giving back and helping out. Volunteering in both England and Greece has been unlike anything I’d have ever imagine and I can honestly say that change and difference can be so exciting. Experiencing something that is so vastly different is something that everyone should do. It’s full of adventure and amazing people you didn’t know existed.
Being a part of Lattitude and its programmes has made me realise the vast differences in the lives people live around the world and the cultures that communities are a part of. And that’s what I want to experience more of, I want to immerse myself in different cultures and while I don’t know what is next for me, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Lattitude has inspired me in so many ways and I wish to continue traveling and meeting new people. I’d love to travel and experience so much more of the world and meet new people and be able to give back and volunteer again before I commit myself to a full time career. I just think there is so much knowledge and growth to be shared and learnt in the world and Lattitude has given me the opportunity to taste it, but it’s just the beginning.
Keen to join our team of awesome volunteers in Greece? Find out more here