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Meet the team behind this gap year company

A gap year company who champions responsible travel

For us it’s all about the why

Overall we want to encourage responsible, sustainable travel, through our volunteering adventures which include projects which make a positive difference to the planet, leaving a legacy we can all be proud of. Leapers are going to be the decision-makers in the future. Participating and learning about conservation and community challenges in different parts of the world, enables these young adults to become ambassadors for positive change.

The Leap is also a gap year company who are passionate about providing programmes that allow personal development, enabling young people to reach and exceed their potential. This requires our Leapers to face mental and physical challenges and work hard in achieving goals whilst improving vital soft skills: budgeting, teamwork, leadership, communication, resilience, compassion, public speaking, overcoming challenges, problem-solving, confidence, and more... skills and values that will benefit them for life. In turn The Leap programmes can be used to add experiences and skills to a CV. Read more about this here.

Honesty, friendliness, compassion, professionalism, helpfulness, empathy, respect, and a sense of humour underpin all we do.

Meet the team

The Leap is an independent, family-owned, experiential gap year travel company, which has sent many thousands of Leapers on award winning overseas volunteering projects across Africa, Asia and South America since 2002.

Behind this dynamic gap year company is a friendly and proffessional leap culture, created by the knowledgeable, caring, and supporting staff both in the UK office and overseas. Wherever you travel to you will feel the 'family' spirit, where everyone goes the extra mile to make sure your experience is fulfilling and positive.

Co-founder

Guy Whitehead

Keeps the show on the road and makes sure we're all on the straight and narrow

Co-Founder

Milly Whitehead

Responsible for programme development and Midlife Leap

Operations Executive

Zoë Faulkner

Zoë is responsible for all pre-departure admin

Marketing Guru

Alice McLeod

Alice runs our social media and marketing

Costa Rica

Chris Patterson

Chris, your host in Costa Rica, is passionate about conservation and the environment. Along with his brilliant team Chris will enthuse, inspire and lead you throughout the program.

Costa Rica

Jack

Jack is the general manager at Jakera.

Colombia

Brendan Topp

Brendan and his family will be looking after all our teams in Colombia and will show you life beyond the tourist trail.

Peru

Kerri Blumenthal

Kerri is your host in Peru to help get you all the way to Machu Picchu - what she doesn't know about Peru isn't worth knowing.

Kenya

Tilda Bowden

Tilda is the other half of this dynamic couple who are all about conservation. Tilda helps Milly build the programme and makes sure everyone is happy.

Kenya

Des Bowden

Des is truly dynamic and has created the marine conservation zone which needs your help.

Vietnam

Hoang Van Dong

Hoang is your guide and local expert in Vietnam. Join him as he leads the way on this northern road trip.

Costa Rica Marine

Georgia & Kat

Founders of Marine Conservation Costa Rica, this dyanmic duo run our Costa Rica Marine programme.

Costa Rica

Peggy

Peggy is the booking and spanish director.

Our journey so far

2002

Guy & Milly founded The Leap

…on the kitchen table with the assistance of an old green dinosaur Apple Mac. We soon upgraded our technology and moved to the heady heights of our offices in Marlborough.

2006

We Leap into our third continent

From the dusty plains of Africa, we branched out into South America and Asia, providing diverse projects, adventures and challenges in each continent.

2009

Internship programmes introduced

From business and law to teaching and journalism, we start offering opportunities that enable Leapers to gain invaluable work experience whilst travelling off the beaten track.

2010

We sent our 2000th Leaper overseas

Champagne and celebration - we've helped 2000 leapers travel. We begin looking for new countries and projects to meet the needs of the gap year traveller. Cambodia still wins the popularity contest.

2012

£3 million spent overseas

A proud moment; together we've built schools and orphanages, educated children, helped protect endangered wildlife, planted trees and improved health and hygiene in remote communities.

2014

We launched our twelfth destination

This year, we added Cuba, Madagascar, Nepal and The Bahamas to our roster... twelve different countries across four different continents.

2016

We launch Namibia and more to come...

Namibia welcomes our Leapers, Peru comes on board and the lovely Jenny joins our team in Leap Towers - what did we do without her?

2018

Guatemala takes The Leap by storm

Central America is now the new place to go, (apparently, and Guatemala wins the popularity award.) Alice joins us and starts to find even more destinations, so watch this space.

2018

We launch MidLife Leap

9 day trips to Namibia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Madagascar for teams of MidLifers who want to embark on a volunteering adventure. Check out our new website.

2019

Corporate Responsibility Conference

We take our first team of CR directors on a bespoke conference to the Philippines where they will combine strategy meetings with volunteering projects. See what they are up to.

2020

School Expedition

We launch our first school Expedition for Dauntsey’s school to Namibia where they will contribute to the development of a new national park.

2020

Leap VIP

The year of corona and a what year it has been. But not to be beaten - we created Leap VIP to help all gappers find a way to travel and navigate the new rules imposed on us.


2021

We navigated the pandemic

We were one of the very few companies to get gappers away this year through our team Leap programs and Leap VIP, saving the gap year for hundreds of leapers.

2021

Gap Year Association

Re-accredited - full gold star membership.

2022

Celebrate The Leap's 20th Birthday

We celebrate 20 years in business and survived the pandemic.


2022

New Destinations

We bring on new and exciting destinations: Vietnam, Colombia and Peru

2023

Midlife takes off again

The Midlife takes off again with adventures to Sri Lanka, Peru and Colombia.

Tell me more about Midlife Adventures

2024

Corporate Leap

Plans are being made to start taking corporate teams abroad again.

Tell me more about the Corporate Experiences

Find your perfect leap

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

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