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friends fundraising for their teenagers' gap years

(90 Posts)
madoldbiddy Fri 03-Jun-11 08:50:32

Received party invitation from neighbour and friend on behalf of her teenage son with details of his gap year plans - teaching for a month plus several months of travel. Invitation accompanied by reply slip making it clear a donation would be expected whether or not one went to the party. The amont was left open. The project seemed of dubious value to me even though it cost £3000. I felt that it would have been better to have put a definite price on the party tickets but I suppose they felt they could get a better return this way. Being hard-up I resent being asked to contribute to someone else's holidays and am tempted to just put it in the bin without answering. Has anyone else come across this?

lesley33 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:52:32

No, but I would also be tempted to put it in the bin.

CrapolaDeVille Fri 03-Jun-11 08:53:43

Is this operation raleigh? Because they have to raise funds to go.

givemeaclue Fri 03-Jun-11 08:56:21


have never heard of this - surely for a gap year you are expected to save up/get a summer job/part time job - whats happened to the grand tradition of young person doing dreadful job to get the cash together?

why would someone expect for their friends to fund their kids hols?

a lot of these 'projects' teaching english etc have been exposed in the press as expensive holidays that add little value to the community where they are

I would not attend and not give any money either

have a funny feeling though that this could become a phenomenon akin to money for honeymoon at this space

givemeaclue Fri 03-Jun-11 08:57:43

I think the goal of operation raleigh, from friends who have done it, is that you earn the money to go or get donations from local businesses etc, not that you ask everyone you know to fund it. If he was offering to wash your car/mow your lawn/babysit for money thats more in the spirit of operation raleigh than asking for a handout

clam Fri 03-Jun-11 08:57:51

Surely the kids themselves are meant to raise the money, not get their parents to fleece involve their wealthy friends.
Is the trip charity work abroad, or a jolly? Makes a slight difference, I think.

Indith Fri 03-Jun-11 08:58:29

What? That is jsut...I am gobsmacked. If your offspring wants to have a gap year then they should pay for it! I bloody well paied for my own gap year slogging my guts out in a factory before going and finding jobs along the way.

I hate the gap year companies that charge a fortune for people to go and "volunteer", most of th time the so called volunteers to nothing and most of the money they pay for a host family never reaches the hosts. Teaching is actually one of the worst ones, how can it be a good thing for inexperienced teens to go, spend a month going "my name is" to teach a bunch of kids English then swan off travelling so another teen can come and repeat the exact same thing. angry

Sorry, rant over.

Seriously I would look up some info on these sorts of volunteering trips then find a way to tactfully suggest it may be a waste of money. There are some not for profit organisations that facilitate volunteering abroad. I can suggest a good one in Senegal.

ScrotalPantomime Fri 03-Jun-11 08:59:33

Ugh! How cheeky. YANBU!

Riddzy Fri 03-Jun-11 09:01:24

The teenagers in question should be raising their own money - it's part of the experience.

Under the 'amount' bit write something like 'I pledge £20 for two hours' garden work'.

Lunabelly Fri 03-Jun-11 09:11:25

Uugghh here as well. In my day, teenagers earned their own money. I'd be tempted to write "Earn your own bloody money ffs", but then, I am evil. Gap year schmap year.

Numberfour Fri 03-Jun-11 09:13:47

That is so terribly out of order! i would not DREAM of asking people for money so that my DS can take a year off doing as he pleases!!

I agree with a PP - bin the invite.


MyBoysHaveDogsNames Fri 03-Jun-11 09:15:17

How bizarre, being asked to pay for a ticket to a party that you don't want to go to. Presume the teenager isn't arranging the party or paying for the food?

I would suggest that it would be better to spend a gap year volunteering in the UK job market or working at Asda in order to try and save a little money towards the astronomic costs of going to university. Think the days of expecting a gap year to comprise travelling around the world indulging in drinking games are over. And I don't get the point of going on a pre-arranged gap year. Surely the whole point of the gap year was to demonstrate some independence and proactivity to future employers, not buying into the 'conservation'/holiday programme.

It's surprisingly cathartic ranting about something which has nothing to do with me, to people I don't know!

cerealqueen Fri 03-Jun-11 09:21:01

£3000 for a 'gap year' when university fees are so astronomical? You'll be getting an invite to help fund that too no doubt. Bin it.

razzlebathbone Fri 03-Jun-11 09:21:40

YANBU. Put it in the bin! That's outrageous.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 03-Jun-11 09:22:15

was it a birthday party invite and the "donation" was meant to be a birthday gift?

Or was it simply a fundraising party? If so, bin it. Tbh I would even be tempted to say something to the parents about it, it's so rude and grasping...

And I agree with the dubious nature of lots of gap-year volunteer projects. Why would children in some far flung country want to be taught one or two basic sentences of English by some know-nothing 18 year old?

TrillianAstra Fri 03-Jun-11 09:24:45

If you are old enough to go on a gap year you're old enough to get a job and fund it yourself.

FetchezLaVache Fri 03-Jun-11 09:25:58

DH's best friend asked us to do a sponsored swim to raise money for his daughter's gap year! We politely declined.

We found the whole thing hilarious from the sidelines as they are such helicopter parents. His DD had to go to a week-long preparation course somewhere in the Scottish Highlands and he DROVE her there (12-hr round trip, necessitating overnight stay), returned a week later to pick her up, then banged on for ages about how independent the year out would make her. grin

GetOrf Fri 03-Jun-11 09:31:16

I would tell them to sling their 'ooks.

There is NO WAY I would fund my dd's gap year, if she has one. If she wants to ponce about in Peru she can get several jobs and pay for it herself.

I wouldn't want her to go on operation Rah-leigh anyway, to mix with kids who probably have no concept of the real world. If she wants a valuable experience Iw ould rather she went to work as a chalet girl, did soccer coaching in america (my brother did this and loved it), or went interrailing.

This is like those hyper annoying people who want to go cycling through Cuba to ostensibly raise money for a charity, and ask you to sponsor you thereby reall asking you to fund their holiday of a lifetime.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 03-Jun-11 09:31:37

good grief Fetchez I can only imagine what the villagers in some south american jungle are going to make of such a cossetted girl!

Maryz Fri 03-Jun-11 09:35:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 03-Jun-11 09:36:39

Your friends are taking the piss and if they bring this up, I'd have no hesitation in telling them that I disagree with funding someone else's gap year/holiday. some people have no shame

ggirl Fri 03-Jun-11 09:37:36

This is quite common and I HATE it.
Bloody swizz these expensive supposedly altruistic gap yrs.
They should be slogging their guts out for this holiday not making out they're do-gooders .

DD slogged her guts out for her gap yr which she's on right now-but she's not working with orphans or teaching english-she's pissing it up in Canada.grin

hockeyforjockeys Fri 03-Jun-11 09:41:49

Fgs what a load of bollocks. When I went on my gap year I scrubbed toilets every weekend and holidays to raise the money. The organisation I went with suggested asking local companies for sponsorship or doing fundraising activities, but I never felt comfortable asking others to pay for my escapades.

On the subject of organised voluntary placements, can I just say that while there is a lot of crap ones out there, that are only intersted in making money and do little/nothing for the community, there are some good organisations out there. The one that I went with made sure each set of volunteers went for a whole school term for contingency (in schools that they had long term relationships with), and our role was very much of supporting activities like drama, sport etc, as well as helping out with English and homework etc. In that respect it was like us having language assistants in this country and it doesn't matter so much if you have a new set every term as each bring their own skills. It did completely change me as a person, even though it was organised I was still living on my own with two other girls in the middle of nowhere with very few resources, how can you not become independent? It also opened my eyes to the reality of the world outside my own comfy little corner, and becuase I got to know people in the local community I became much more opened minded and respectful (in the sense of seeing how amazing people can be in the most difficult of circumstances) towards others.

Lunabelly Fri 03-Jun-11 09:44:14

I looked at some of those volunteer abroad websites. Pisstake. I could go on an all-inclusive fortnight to the Dom Rep for what they charge you to scrub toilets in a government orphanage for three days. Just who gets the money is what I'd like to know.

I will say to my DCs, should they want a gap year, to just make a donation to charity, have a week in Majorca, and fund their drinking games by stacking shelves in Lidl. And to please not post topless photos of themselves and Tarquin on FaceBook. <boak>

Lunabelly Fri 03-Jun-11 09:47:29

HockeyForJockeys which are the good organisations? I was shocked when I looked into it (I always get pleasant when ComicRelief is on), couldn't believe how obviously scammy some of them were.

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