Raleigh International, an adventure charity specializing in gap year projects, has closed.

This London-based organization puts volunteers aged 17-24 – who have raised funds to pay for the opportunity – on projects at locations around the world.

It has been active for 30 years, during which Prince William and Kate Middleton have been involved in development projects in Chile.

A statement on its website reads: “Raleigh International Trust ceased operations on May 19, 2022 and will enter into a Voluntary Liquidation of Creditors.

“A meeting of creditors will be convened on June 16, 2022.”

The City’s CBW is handling the charity’s affairs.

It’s unclear what will happen to bookings made by prospective volunteers. Because payments from volunteers to Raleigh International are technically in the form of fundraising, there does not appear to be a direct contract to provide services as would exist in a typical travel transaction. The Atol scheme does not apply.

In addition, participants are required to purchase their own flight – which currently serves no apparent purpose.

Raleigh International’s roots go back to 1984, when Operation Raleigh was launched to send volunteers on expeditions aboard two ships, Sir Walter Raleigh and Zebu. It then switched to land based projects and changed its name.

Becky Barnes, now a journalist at The Independent“I was absolutely devastated when I heard that Raleigh International was no more.

“I went to India in 2011 to participate in an incredible 10 week life changing program.

“I didn’t have a job after I graduated from college and they were offering a continuum program for graduates who were out of work, so I jumped at the opportunity to spend time in India as part of the program. of some graduate travel.

“I showed up on my own and quickly made new friends in a group of like-minded young people, ready for adventure.

“The project consisted of three weeks of environmental work, three weeks of community work and three weeks of grueling walking, with a few days of rest in between.”

Prince William spent part of his school year at Eton College and St Andrew’s University working on a volunteer construction project in southern Chile in 2001.

The charity has an excellent reputation, although it is sometimes criticized for the expense of its expeditions.

Participants are told: “You will be set a minimum fundraising goal [which] represents the minimum amount that you must raise funds for us to secure a spot on the expedition. ”

Esther Shaw wrote to The Independent in 2008: “Many ‘inquisitives’ choose to learn new skills in developing countries by volunteering for environmental or community projects, such as those run by Raleigh International onion.

“But be warned: even such a trip can quickly cost thousands of pounds. So between poring over guidebooks and surfing the web to decide where to go and what to do, take a moment to figure out how you’re going to finance your travel.”

Television documentary filmmaker Ben Crichton recalls his experience with Raleigh: “The friendships I forged and my interactions with the Namibian desert were unmatched.

“I remember the sadness when I reached the ocean for the last time with the fog all around. The four of us extended it with a trip down from Windhoek to Cape Town. There are moments that are cherished, tinged with pervasive sadness that will come to an end.”

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