Winant Clayton

Not Verified What's this?
8.8 / 10 after 4 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Submit a review

If anybody out there is questioning whether or not this is a good program, don't. Because this was an amazing program! 10 weeks out in London, volunteering for 8 of them. And it's well worth the money too. I have yet to find a program such as this that lets you stay in the country for such an extended amount of time for such a cheap price. It included accommodation, airfare, travel within the country, as well as a stipend to help with the cost of food. On top of that, the different placements you can work with are phenomenal. I worked in a homeless center on the East End, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

Plus you get evenings and weekends free to roam the city, head out to other parts of England, and the last 2 weeks are completely free for you to travel anywhere you have been dying to go (which airfare is cheaper once you're out of the US).

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 5, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
21

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Winant Claytons back in the 90's when I had finished my nurse training. I knew that if I went straight in to employment that I would never feel brave enough to leave that safe hub and do something for me. That's why being a volunteer with this organisation was so ideal- it wasn't too long, it gave me valuable experience and also offered the chance to travel.
I had a placement at Fountain House in New York and had really good accommodation with this. The staff there were very welcoming and I was made to feel a valued member of the team. I came away from there with oodles of confidence, which I think made me a better nurse when I came back to the UK.
I made some brilliant friends- Brits and Americans, and feel really lucky to still be in contact with some of these.
I travelled by myself for a month after and was able to stay with some volunteers from previous years- it felt like a very safe way to be able to travel alone.
I still feel incredibly positive about the organisation and how it has helped to shape my life. I'm so glad it's still around- will definitely be getting my children to look very seriously at this when they are old enough.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 15, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10
By: Becki-C
Age:
43

I participated in this program over the summer of 1990 when I was 22, and then continued to be active as a volunteer with the program from approximately 1993-1997, and I'm thrilled that the program is still going strong.

I was placed in a homeless center in central London and, at that time, most of the volunteers lived in private homes/flats, although I understand that they often now dorm together. It was one of the most valuable experiences I've had. It led me ultimately to my career in Psychiatry and to many of my current dearest friends. I was fully integrated into a team of social workers and staff in the homeless center and was treated as a valuable team member from day 1. From running groups to making lunches with center clients, to brainstorming at team meetings, to planning various London outings, I felt valued and respected. I also felt that I was able to gain a better understanding of London/UK culture by working and living in London.

I'm not sure that describing the logistics of the program in detail would be as useful from me as it would be from a more recent volunteer, since the committees that run the program have changed, but I will say that the folks on the UK and US side were very committed to supporting the volunteers in a non-intrusive way, and that the current committee appears to be just as enthusiastic and supportive.

As I was recently visiting one of my closest friends in London (a Londoner I met while she was volunteering at the homeless center), I remarked that doing the WCV scheme was the best decision I ever made! I am now happily practicing Psychiatry in New York City and have many friends and connections I made over that summer so many years ago.

Mia Pappagallo, M.D.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 22, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
10
By: MiaPea
Age:
45

Winant Clayton was my first foray into volunteering abroad, and I couldn't have asked for a better program! They run a very small program, so I never felt like a number or a cash sign, but rather a person the program had a vested interest in.

We had volunteers from all across the US and we met in NYC the day before we flew to London. Each of us had a unique placement (sometimes 2 people per placement) in some sort of community centre or location for disadvantaged peoples. It was exciting to meet and finally talk with who grew to become my family over next 10 weeks.

When we landed in London, we were put on a bus and individually dropped off at our boarding locations. This was particularly helpful as it gave us all a chance to rest a bit and not immediately worry about conquering the transportation system.

The next day we had an all-day orientation that equipped us with information regarding our placements, meetings, and PLENTY of sight-seeing info. We also then learned of our mandatory day trip to Cambridge, which was a blast.

We had a coordinator on the US side who some people had strained relationships with, although this was primarily due to the complexity and frustrations of the Visa process. However, our London coordinator was absolutely FABULOUS! She was communicative and supportive.

At my placement, I worked at a community centre off of Brick Road (in the East End). I loved my placement and everything about it: the service users, the other volunteers, the employees, my duties, etc. Some of my fellow Winants were not as lucky with their placements (held office jobs, dealt with unruly service users, but the vast majority of us truly enjoyed our work and loved the experience.

While most of the Winants lived in dormitories, I was placed in a flat with an incredibly kind elderly Jamaican woman. For the most part I truly enjoyed my living conditions, but coming/going always felt a bit like 'checking in' due to her more subdued and conservative living ways.

On weekends and at nights, us Winants tried to coordinate a new outing that everyone was invited to attend. We had pub nights, museum tours, picnics and club outings. While we only had a handful of mandatory meetings/check-ins, we managed to stay in touch and see each other often.

Overall, I would highly recommend this program for any independent, highly motivated individuals who want a great way to experience England for the first time. You'll have nights and weekends free to travel, as well as 2 weeks of free time at the end of the term. If you can afford your ticket and save up a bit of spending money (you are given a meager travel/food stipend and your board is covered) then this is the program for you! Great for students, teachers and adventurers of all ages.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 22, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
7
Value:
8
By: kaitdaug
Age:
25