There is the general commitment that everyone gets stuck into everything, and we all work together to make it the fullest experience possible. This means we all do the fun bits, but we also have to lend a hand with the washing up and milking the cow from time to time! We always have at least one long term member on the team so though you will be challenged in new ways and will at times work independently, you’ll never be without the support you need.
Our activities are created to enthuse, enlighten and encourage, and as such have communication at their heart. You’ve got to have a load of energy and patience! The sessions are sensory based, not heavily reliant on language, and focus on creative conversation and exchange. If you’re energetic, enthusiastic, good humoured and up for giving it your all, you’ll have a great time and make a big difference.
I had the most bonkers and extraordinary time with the Seagulls! The kids were tons of fun, the work was truly magical, at times challenging and thoroughly rewarding. I have made some truly wonderful friendships with members of the team and wish to work every one of them again! My experience was everything that I had hoped for and more.
The simplicity and yet exhilaration of life on a Seagull tour is an experience I’ve come to rely on as a vital part of my year. These days I can’t smell a wood fire without being transported immediately back to rural Romania and I find myself counting the days until the next time I can put on my top hat and start being silly again.
The flying Seagull Project is perhaps one of the few projects that exists that practices what it preaches. It has been soul food for me. The work that it does abroad is top notch. The cultural hub that its work has induced in its quest to find funding and resources is great. It has introduced me to many creative, top quality people who will be friends for life.
In short, NO. We offer full training both prior to departure (when possible), and on the road. We are constantly learning and sharing skills. Interest, enthusiasm in creative activities and a good imagination are essential, but skills you can learn!
We request that all volunteers in all countries have a current ‘Advanced DBS’ check. If you have one already it’s worth checking that it is still valid for us (i.e., it is not more than 12 months old) . If you do not have one, please get in touch and we can help you to arrange things. Please bear in mind this is often a long process – it can take between 2-8 weeks!
As a relentlessly active troupe of fools, there are loads of opportunities for you to get involved in. We entertain at many of the biggest UK music festivals, including Secret Garden Party and Shambala. Though these are fundraising performances, we find plenty of time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the occasion! We also create and host some pretty exciting events of our own, from one-day music festivals, to flash mobs, and even the occasional pantomime! As a collective of creative people, there is a great opportunity to create some performances of our own, and we have started to form our own company of players with the aim of putting on productions and shows in the future.
This isn’t an easy answer as it is different in each centre we visit and dependent on the time of year. In the past, we have camped in valleys, stayed in hostels, slept on the floor of a Buddhist temple, in a slum building, in a hospital, in a small farm on the border of Kosovo, in the Seagull lorry, ‘Rosie’, and many more weird and wonderful locations! What we can promise is that there will always be a safe place to sleep. What we cannot promise is that it’ll always be as comfortable as you may be used to, or that people won’t snore! Sometimes we just have to roll our sleeves up and get on with it!
The team is very spoilt and more often than not our hosts, or locals in the villages we are guests in, invite us to share food with them. If we’re really lucky, it’s traditional home-cooked Romanian cuisine, which is rustic, filling and delicious. We have vegetarians in the team, and will do our best to cater for them, but sometimes it’s a matter of another cheese sandwich and an extremely polite apology to our hosts for not accepting the meat!
We ask that all volunteers raise £100 for every two week period they are with us, and that they cover the cost of their flight/transport to the project site. This can range dramatically depending on how far in advance you book. The costs of both the project and your flights can be covered through your fundraising efforts.