Volunteering for Over 50’s

You are never too old to take on new, exciting challenges and volunteering is a fantastic way to see the world and take on new experiences, while sharing a lifetime of skills and experiences with those less fortunate.

Whether you are retired, working part-time, or an ’empty-nester’ keen to go do something for yourself, volunteering as an over 50 could be your next big adventure. Outreach International help make this possible.


What volunteer projects for over 50’s are there? 

All of the community projects we support are available to volunteers over 50. Mature volunteers are often able to offer more life experience, professional skills and time to projects. It can make a bigger difference. Such experience can be especially helpful in transferring skills to local project staff, creating a lasting legacy from your time volunteering abroad.

primary school in Tanzania

Teaching in Tanzania

It might be you share your commercial skills with a social enterprise, exercise your legal skills working for an NGO, your nursing or therapy skills in a healthcare clinic, or volunteer your teaching experience in one of the many schools we support. Either way, your skills and experience will be valued.

Or you might choose to do something completely different, taking on a very different type of volunteer experience. Whether working in a wildlife sanctuary or working in a school for the first time, volunteering in your later years is a wonderful way of taking on new challenges and new experiences.

Whether you are an IT professional or an avid horticulturist, there is most likely a project where you can use your skills as a volunteer over 50.

Don’t expect to find a project title that matches you exactly on the website – introduce yourself through the online application form and we can talk you through the options.


What is the maximum age limit that can I volunteer?

There is no upper age limit to volunteering.  Our volunteers range from 16 to 70+ and volunteering is increasingly popular for the over 50’s.

You will need to be fit enough to deal with the minor rigours of international travel, and check that the climate you are going to suits you, but otherwise there is no limitation. A few of the conservation projects have more ‘rugged’ accommodation with fewer home comforts, but most are equally accessible to volunteers over 50.

Volunteering at an older age is more common than you think. If you have the confidence to work overseas in a different culture and climate, then we can help find a volunteer project to suit you. All volunteers need insurance and mature volunteers are no exception.


Support for volunteers over 50

Volunteer over 50 2

Trying something new in Galapagos

All volunteers, young and old, have the support of the Outreach International team throughout. From helping you select the right project, to assisting in your pre-trip preparation and the support of our local coordinator on arrival, we help make your over 50’s volunteer experience an accessible and assured one.

Our coordinator is a local person who will guide you and provide support as you need it. You might choose to stay with a host family who will look after you while you are volunteering, or if you prefer privacy we can help arrange individual accommodation.


How does it work?

Look through the volunteer experiences on the website and choose a few projects that you are interested in. Complete an online application form to tell us about your skills, experience and preferences for a volunteering role.

We’ll organise a time to talk those volunteer choices available to you. Once we’ve agreed on a recommendation we’ll send you a joining pack. You then provide a small deposit and confirm your choice of project, and together we start planning your placement.

Volunteer over 50

Working in an NGO

Can I bring a partner or family member when I volunteer?

There are projects that can take multiple volunteers, plus some locations with multiple projects meaning you can all volunteer in one location, but during the day you might work in different projects.

Alternatively your partner might just choose to travel or holiday alongside you, and we can arrange accommodation and a flexible itinerary to get the most of your shared goals.


How long can over 50’s volunteer  for?                     

Older volunteers are no different from any of our other volunteers, except you might have more time. You can volunteer from one to twelve months, although most will volunteer between 2-4 months. You can largely travel any time of year as the community projects run all year round, with the exception of teaching projects that will close for holidays at various times of year.


Keeping in touch family and friends while I am travelling

volunteers over 50s 3

Making a difference

Some locations have great mobile and internet connections while others do not. If you want to volunteer somewhere more remote such rural Nepal, Costa Rica or the Ecuadorian rainforest, then expect poor signals. For many places you can remain connected or be close to somewhere where you can get online.

We always like to remind volunteers that this is an opportunity to get away from the overload of a modern technological world and enjoy being in the presence of the local community you are serving with.



Volunteer placements for the over 50’s, including teachers, doctors, nurses, therapists, legal and commercial professionals are available in: