Presentations and Marathons: February 2015


It’s been all go at Crossing Countries the past few weeks, Jean and Jude are off to Dundee University to give a presentation on all the work we do on 23rd February, we all wish them lots of luck, with this in mind we have extended our recruitment deadline till 20th March… We don’t want to miss anyone out!

New recruit Suzi has been busy too, she has committed to walking a marathon to raise funds for Crossing Countries 2015 trip on 28th February. If you would like to donate to this please check out her Fundrazr Page Or you can donate via the paypal buttons on this site.

Suzi has also managed to get Crossing Countries a bit of press. East Lothian Courier has done a lovely article on us and her marathon efforts.

That’s not all folks, Listen out for us tomorrow (Wednesday 18th Feb) where Jean and Suzi will be chatting with Rosanne on Radio Saltire from 4pm

And next month pick up a copy of I-on Magazine to check out why Jean and Suzi enjoy working on Crossing Countries together and make a pretty good mother, daughter team.DSC_1985

Come and Join Us: January 2015


It’s time to get recruiting here at Crossing Countries! Our fliers have gone out to universities and colleges around Scotland but if its not in your local education establishment then check out the information below and get in touch if you or anyone you know may be interested!

Crossing Countries: challenging boundaries, changing lives

Are you a student or a recent graduate? Are you disabled and in receipt of Disabled Student Allowance? Would you like to be able to volunteer in South Africa? If the answers to all these question is yes, we want to hear from you!

Crossing Countries is a unique organisation that matches disabled students (travellers) with a travel pal, you will work together to raise money (with our support) and we will provide training, a team leader for your trip and our invaluable expertise.

Crossing Countries is looking for new travellers for our 2015 trip to Durban, South Africa. We will support you to raise funds to allow you to go out and volunteer with our partners in Durban. In 2014 our travellers volunteered at crèches, schools, hospitals and Operation Bobbi Bear (a charity aiding sexually abused children).

Currently the dates for travel are the 20/07/15 – 06/08/15 and the cost is £2000. Both are subject to change depending on 2015 charges for flights, hotels, transport etc. You need to be over 18 and have received or are receiving Disabled Student Allowance.  If you’re interested please send us an email at for an application form, which must be returned by the 15/02/15. Please state if you need the form in a special format.

For more information please see our site

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CC_Travellers

Flyers, Welcome Packs and New Team Member: January 2015

As we put 2014 in the past, clear up the Christmas wrapping paper and champagne glasses the Crossing Countries team has been hard at work planning our next adventure for 2015. We have lots of exciting things to report…

  • Jude has created and now dispersed the 2015 fliers to help us find some willing students to come on our adventure, check out colleges and universities in Edinburgh if your interested or drop us an email!
  • Jean has been working hard with her post-its making sure that all the legalities and fun is starting to come together.
  • We have a new addition to our team for 2015! Suzi, Jeans daughter who works in pupil support will be joining us for our 2015 trip, you will hear more about her as the year goes on but needless to say we will all be in for a bundle of laughs over the coming months. She has already been put to work though and has created a “Welcome Pack” for all new travelers and travel pals which includes everything from local phrases to (her favorite) Health and Safety Policy.

Keep a look out for new developments and updates for this year exciting adventure!

T Shirts and the Next Level: October 2014

We’ve finally, after much anticipation…FundersTshirts

We printed our funders’ t-shirts!

They’re pretty great, right?

Sadly, our jobs aren’t all about designing and printing nice t-shirts. Jean and Jude met with a member of Edinburgh University’s Business School yesterday, to get some advise on pushing our organisation to the next level.

Becoming a Social Enterprise and Dreaming: September 2014

There has been a long gap since our last blog but we have been posting on both the ‘Durban 2014 Overview and Durban 2014 Uncut’ tabs and on face book.

The trip to Durban was really successful and our experiences made us even more determined to make Crossing Countries into a social enterprise so that other groups can have the same enriching and empowering experience. To that end Crossing Countries is in the process of registering as a social enterprise with Jean and Beth as co-directors to be joined by Jude when she has finished her studies. We have to get advice on the correct clauses for the Articles of Association after that we will be a social enterprise. EXCITED!!

We have been busy since we came home… getting the web page up to date, giving feedback to the organisations we used and worked with and getting the word out about our project. We have also been doing researching and planning our structure and of course thinking about our next trip. There is so much to do and with us all back at work or studying it is complicated trying to fit everything in.

We have also been looking at the possibilities of going to other destinations, in particular Norway and Ecuador but these are just dreams…on the other hand we made the Durban dream come true so why not?

We are now looking for volunteers with skills who could help us with finance, training Travel Pals in supporting disabled people and any other backing/ advice. If you yourself would like to help or if you know anyone please get in touch on

ALSO take a second to like, follow or share our page here or on face book or on twitter @CC_Travellers…you never know where a connection will led….

The Team

The Team  

From left to right: Mark Cooper, forever causing trouble; Beth Cochrane, potentially addicted to social media; Agata Dzieciolowska, our resident film star; Jean Cathro, the brains behind our operation; Judith Drake, professional at ‘getting-things done’; and finally, in the front row, Floss – fluffy, fun-loving and the cute one in the team.


Our First Post – So Here’s a Little Bit About Us

Crossing Countries is a new social enterprise started by three friends who have a dream. Jean, Jude and myself (Beth – hello!) met through University and realised our shared dream: to make volunteering abroad not simply something for the ‘able-bodied’, or for those who can readily afford such experiences.

We want everyone to have the opportunity to have an overseas experience.

So here we have it, the basis of our enterprise:

  • To match up a disabled student (a ‘Traveller’) with an able-bodied student (a ‘Travel Pal’) and make it possible for them, as a team, to travel abroad for work experience or to volunteer.

Although a simple premise, the journey we have set ourselves on has been a challenging one. Along the way we have found new team members, Agata and Mark, who have added their own experiences and insights into the enterprise. Through team work, dedication and a lot of tea, we have successfully booked our first pilot/marketing scheme. Here’s the exciting part…


Flights are booked, accommodation is booked – Durban here we come. The aims of this initial trip involve several points:

  • To source out contacts for our future clients
  • To forecast any issues our clients will come across
  • To have a definite budget plan
  • To have concrete marketing material

We have paired up within the team as Travellers and Travel Pals, and we’re all hugely excited (and somewhat nervous) for this huge step forward for Crossing Countries. Going to Durban will be the experience of a lifetime, and show that our enterprise is not only possible, but also achievable.