Seminar 3 – Examining the ‘Self’ (volunteer) and the ‘Other’ (communities)

Friday 26 June 2015

10.00 – 1600 hours

University of Kent, Canterbury Campus

This seminar is designed to examine the two of primary stakeholders of international volunteering and the interface between them.  Within the literature, the voice of the volunteer is predominant (McGehee and Santos, 2005; Brown and Lehto, 2005; Campbell and Smith, 2006) and more specifically the ‘Self’ (Wearing and Neil, 2000; Wearing and Deane, 2003; Wickens 2011) while the voice of the community is rarer although gathering momentum. Discourses around the areas of ‘they [being the community] are poor but happy’; international volunteering as neo-colonialism; the volunteer continuum of altruism to egoistic (Tomazos and Butler, 2010) will underpin the debates of this seminar. As part of the discussion on volunteers in this seminar the recent Evaluation of DFID’s International Citizens’ Service (ICS) Pilot Programme (DFID, 2012, p.10) will of interest in that 7.9% of the volunteers returned earlier than expected, half of these (48 volunteers) returned due discipline / behaviour issues.

International Speaker Dr Zoe Alexander will be talking about “Examining the Self

Zoe Alexander

Dr Zoë Alexander owns a tourism business near Cape Town, South Africa. She advises on Tourism Strategy; focussing on responsible tourism. Her research focussed on volunteer tourism, often associated with responsible tourism, and the impact of it on the tourist (self).  Human nature has always fascinated her; particularly trying to understand why people behave the way they do.  It was this very early interest which sparked her academic background in psychology, a subject which she taught in adult education, in the UK.  She has an interesting and varied career, mainly in UK industry.  She believes in following her passions wholeheartedly and lives day-to-day, with her horses, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Professor Harold Goodwin (Manchester Metropolitan University) will be talking on “Responsible International Volunteering and Ethical Considerations”.

Harold Grayson

Harold Goodwin is Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (  For the last decade he has been at the forefront of efforts to make tourism more responsible, working with tour operators in the UK, as an originating market, and with communities and governments in destinations around the world. He has pioneered work on tourism and poverty reduction. He wrote the original paper on tourism and poverty elimination for Britain’s Department for International Development and was a founder member of the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership. Harold is non-exec Chair of PeopleandPlaces a not-for-profit company established to demonstrate that volunteering abroad could be organised more responsibly providing better value for volunteers and host communities alike.

Sally Grayson (Practitioner – Founder of PeopleandPlaces) will be talking on “Working with local people.

sallie grayson

Sallie Grayson is founder director of people and places – the award winning social enterprise recognised internationally for campaigning for more responsible volunteer travel. She has worked with various organisations to develop best practise – from host communities to international travel operators.

Caroline Walsh, Volunteer and Researcher of Volunteering, will be talking as “The voice of the volunteer“.

Caroline Walsh copy

Caroline is a Research Associate at the University of Kent’s SSPSSR Centre for the study of Philanthropy. She has extensive and ongoing experience in educational, environmental, social and political related volunteering that included working with Disability, Wildlife and Conservation Charities. Her volunteering career has included setting up and running a NGO promoting marine conservation activities for disabled and non-disabled divers called Access to Marine Conservation for All International (AMCAI). More specifically, Caroline has been involved in marine conservation citizen science and conservation engagement for over 20 years after learning to scuba dive in her teens. She was one of the first disabled divers in Europe. Further, Caroline is on the organising committee for the annual national Reef Conservation UK (RCUK) at the Zoological Society of London, where she volunteered for Project Seahorse at the beginning of the new Millennium. Her volunteering career has also included extensive work with SCOPE and Kent Wildlife Trust.