2007 - short listed for a Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Award again!

2007 included over £1,000,000 raised for projects overseas! It also saw the birth of a new era in Villa Maria with Michael Amphlet purchasing the school building so many people had invested time and energy in. To celebrate, Michael shook off the cobwebs, dusted off his dancing shoes and took to the boards of the infamous Villa Maria stage. Fronting an 'all girl band' comprising of himself, Simon and the always keen to wear a dress Jon-Jon, the enthusiastic threesome braved the hostile hordes (comprising mostly of parents and children) with strength in their hearts, passion in their veins and rhythm in their feet.

The atmosphere soon changed as the beat began to take hold; the mesmerising moves of Jon's hips could have hypnotised a snake, the jungle like prowess of Michael's electrifying two-step could have intimidated a lion and Simon's legs would have turned the straightest of men gay. It's sometimes all to easy to lose track of the things that are important to you, and with the fear of sounding silly, those embarrassing 5 minutes on stage prancing around to a rubbish song gave birth to infectious laughter. Money can build a school and educate a child but it's those priceless gifts such as your time and commitment that can bring happiness.

With the donations still flooding in, the charity Quest4change officially became an independent registered charity and launched as the charitable arm of Quest. With 11 years behind us the Quest network of projects had grown to a point that required something more to keep supporting our grassroots community and conservation projects around the world. Quest4change enables past and future volunteers to see how projects have progressed and where they might go. Now slaves to the corporate world (no doubt spending days reminiscing about their gap year...), and sometimes with money behind them, old volunteers can see that their legacy has survived and their hard work was appreciated. The commitment to our projects remains strong and Quest4change enables everybody, not just ex-Questers, to continue to contribute and help the friends we have made overseas.

In England things were changing it was a tearful farewell to Olivia who decided to pursue her Masters in "leadership in sustainable development" and a joyous hello to Helen who was promoted to the position of South American Ops manager.

Next: 2008 - welcome back to the old guard!