Charlotte's Sri Lankan Mental Health Placement!

Charlotte Hek Start Date: Sep 26, 2016 - End Date: Apr 23, 2017
  • TEFL/Teach Abroad
  • Volunteer Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Sri Lanka

My Travel Story

by: Charlotte Hek Start Date: Sep 26, 2016 - End Date: Apr 23, 2017
  • TEFL/Teach Abroad
  • Volunteer Trip
  • Professional Development
Hello everyone! I'm Charlotte and as of 5th June 2017 I will be volunteering for 5 weeks on a Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka! The group SLV was founded back in 2010 by recent graduates and has been working ever since with not only Sri Lanka, but Bali and now India as well. 

I'm currently studying Psychology in my second year at university and wanted to gain some hands on experience relevant to my degree, SLV provided me with the perfect way to do this! For the duration of my trip I'll be living like a local with a host family along with other volunteers in my group. Whilst out in Sri Lanka I will be working with individuals with mental health issues one day a week, as well as project work with children, teaching English and working with individuals of all ages with special needs. After a one week-long induction I will then be working with the other volunteers to run sessions with these groups, allowing them to engage with others and learn a new skill or game at the same time! 

This programme is completely voluntary therefore I won't recieve any payment, however there is a cost for me to go so I've began this campaign to start fundraising for my trip! All of the money raised goes to SLV and contibutes towards food, accommodation, and around the clock support from both the Sri Lankan/national team. 

Now this is where you come in! I would be more than grateful for any and all donations towards my placement and over the next few months I will be fundraising and running different events to get to my total. For more information please feel free to ask me any questions or even head over to the SLV website or YouTube channel which explains more about what they do and why!

Thank you so much in advance and I will be keeping everyone updated on my progress leading up to as well as after taking part in this really exciting experience!

  • Sri Lanka


  • Career Development Award!

    Career Development Award!
    Every year the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth give students the opportunity to apply for an award where money is granted to those taking part in activities that help progress their career development.

    Back in October 2016 I applied for this award in order to contribute towards my placement in Sri Lanka as this is a trip that gives me the chance to gain experience in a professional and psychological setting as well as teaching me so many invaluable new skills. After being shortlisted and invited to an interview I am pleased to announce that I have been granted a £250 award which brings my current fundraising total to £905!

    Receiving this award means so much and I am happy to have the support from my lecturers and departmental staff who also believe this placement is beneficial for me and my future career in Psychology!
  • 2017

    So, we've made it one week into the New Year and a lot of great things are in store for 2017! Later this year I will be volunteering abroad which is such an amazing experience both personally and academically and I'm so appreciative of the support I've received so far! I thought I'd write a post about my thoughts, particularly on the lead up to the trip, so please give it a read if you're interested, thank you!

    It dawned on me a few days ago that it's around 5 months until I'll be flying to Sri Lanka... on my own. As most will know I'm absolutely terrified of flying, and for some reason I'm worrying more about sitting in a tube in the sky for a few hours than the fact I'll be on a different continent teaching people who speak little to no English at all!

    This got me thinking that in order for me to go and make a real difference, to both teach and learn, there are hurdles I’m going to have to jump (or fly) over to get there. It sounds so silly writing it down and you would think a girl who’s nearly 20 years old would be able to get it together but the thought of navigating an airport alone is scary okay! Having this epiphany at the start of the New Year was rather fitting what with New Year’s resolutions being a thing and such, so this years will be one applicable not only to this particular trip I’ll be taking, but to any other opportunities that come my way.

    2017, the year I’ve got to get out of my comfort zone and do the things I’d usually be apprehensive about. I don’t want a minor detail like getting on an aeroplane to stop me from getting the most out of my experiences. I have 5 months to prepare myself for this and I know that as soon as I step foot in Sri Lanka (and the travel sickness has worn off) it will all have been worth it!

    Once again I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far, it really means a lot to me! If you’ve got this far then thanks for sticking around to hear this weird combination of slight motivational speaking with bursts of my fear of flying, I hope it was worth the read!

Adventure Registry

  • Outside Donations

    £ 55
    • Granted
  • University Award

    £ 250
    University of Portsmouth
    • Granted