About Ian

Ian volunteered in a number of teaching workshop projects in Sri Lanka and went on to become one of the founding members of VESL in 2003. Ian continued to take an active role in the running of the charity and became a Programme Director for VESL in 2008 along with another of the initial founding members, Tom Harrison. Ian was responsible for the Sri Lankan programme and later helped establish our programme in Southern India (Andhra Pradesh and Kerala). In the autumn of 2011 Ian took on the role of redesigning a website for VESL including the creation of a new content strategy and marketing approach. Ian is still very much linked to our projects in Southern India and continues to be heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation. (In his other life, Ian is a freelance web solutions consultant)
Author Archive | Ian

VESL’s future beyond 2014

An important announcement regarding the future of VESL’s volunteer programme from Ian Livingstone, VESL’s CEO.  Some of you may already be aware that Lauren Pluss, our Programme Manager and sole full-time employee, will be leaving VESL at the end of April and moving to a new job. We have therefore been required to re-evaluate how […]

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Thomas Grunwell with teachers at his host school

Responsible Volunteering Overseas

In response to today’s BBC News article on volunteering overseas, we’d like to stress that nothing about volunteering with VESL is ‘voluntourism’…  it’s challenging work, and of real and measurable benefit to those schools and communities we work with.  All volunteers are interviewed and we don’t just send anyone willing to cough up the funding […]

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International Volunteer Day 2012

International Volunteer Day 2012

December 5th is the UN’s International Volunteer Day… For volunteers this represents an opportunity to take stock of the valued work they are involved in and a chance to remind themselves of the challenges they’ve faced and the successes they’ve achieved this year. For others it is simply a chance to explore ways in which […]

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Lauren Pluss at the Southern Tip of India, Kerala, 2011

VESL Appoints New Programme Manager

VESL is extremely pleased to announce that we have appointed Lauren Pluss as our new Programme Manager. Lauren is a past VESL volunteer and returned this year volunteering as an overseas programme assistant.  Lauren’s first experience with VESL was on a project teaching English in a fishing community school in Kerala for 3 months in 2011. […]

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How Many Bananas? Thailand, 2011 (by Thomas Grunwell)

New 2011 Photos

We’ve been able to collate photos from a number of our 2011 volunteers and have just added 4 new photo galleries… Kerala 2011 Thanks go to Elaine Abili & Kath McGuire for their photos from the summer of 2011.  Elaine was helping to develop a new project in Southern Kerala for 3 months from June […]

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Alex Quinn - GapTravel Guide 2012

VESL Volunteer Featured in Gap Year Travel Guide

Alex Quinn has been featured in a 2012 Gap Year Travel Guide…   Alex is one of our long term volunteers in Northern Thailand on an 11 month project that began in Autumn 2011.  Alex has been teaching English in a local primary school and also supports a special needs school near Chiang Rai. In […]

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Alasdair Smith, Thailand, 2011

Volunteer Feedback : Alisdair Smith

“The teaching was great fun and, as someone with little prior experience, I would definitely say that it’s not as scary as you might think!” Alisdair Smith, Volunteer in Thailand, 2011

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Elaine Abili, Kerala, 2011

A review of 2011

2011 has certainly been a busy year for VESL… here are a few highlights from the year : Kerala We had great success with our new programme working in schools within fishing communities in Kerala (South India).  All of this year’s volunteers did a magnificent job in helping to lay down the foundations of this programme.  […]

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Thai Market, Chiang Rai

Volunteer Case-Study : A Day in the Life

“We made a difference by teaching English to children who live in poor conditions and seeing them improve day-by-day in their English language as well as having fun, smiling and laughing with happiness was a joy every day.” Emma Powell, Thailand, 2010-11

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school in Chiang Rai

Volunteer Case-Study : Chiang Rai, Thailand

“It is surprising how quick we settled in. Everyone was so helpful and caring.” Caley Vye, Thailand, 2010-11

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Delicious Thai Food

Volunteer Case-Study : Thailand

“I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer… it will be an experience you will always remember” Emma Warrington, Thailand, 2010

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global-educators

Effects of Short-term Volunteering on Qualified Teachers

The Society of Educational Studies (SES) funded VESL to undertake a research project looking at the effects on attitudes and practice of teachers undertaking voluntary projects overseas. ‘Global Educators’ Report Summary Schools and teachers are increasingly being asked to use a global outlook in the classroom, and to appreciate the issues of identities and diversity […]

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student-lead-projects

Student Leader Projects Underway

We’ve received a great response from universities to our new Student Leadership Programme. After receiving several notes of interest from past volunteers we were been able to establish Student Lead Projects within MMU, Keele, Edge Hill, Aston and Birmingham Universities and things are looking very encouraging for 2012 (fingers crossed). The past volunteers who are […]

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Gap Years Grown Ups

VESL Volunteers Profiled in Adult Gap Year Guide

Two of VESL’s past volunteers in India and Sri Lanka have been profiled in Susan Giffith’s new book, ‘Gap Year’s for Grown Ups’

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