During normal times, we have around 50 international volunteers at any one time within our community, and we try to be as diverse and international as possible. The majority of our volunteers are European and British as we are only granted a limited number of visas for people from the rest of the world.
We would love to take more volunteers on a visa but we are governed by what the UK Visa & Immigration department state. With only a limited number of visa spaces and so many applications from countries such as Brazil, South Korea and Kazakhstan, you need to make your application stand out.
That doesn’t mean it needs to be flash, it just needs to be honest and you need to share as much information as you can. Don’t make any assumptions, tell us everything possible, as you need to make your application more interesting than the next persons. We receive so many applications with a one-line answer to questions we’ve asked, and that’s not enough. How can we get to know who you are and what your heart is by just one sentence?
So, when we ask a question such as “Who is God to you and what is your experience of Him?” the type of things we’d like to hear about is how you have encountered God, when you first met Him, when you gave your life, how He impacts your daily life, what a difference He makes in your life, how do you spend time with Him, etc etc.
You’re applying to spend a year of your life here at Ashburnham Place so taking an hour or two to do the application really well is time well spent and you’ll make your application much more attractive than the next persons. For instance, if you are a Brazilian applying, you might be competing against 50-60 other Brazilians for around 5 or 6 places.
A couple of months before the start date, we’ll have a meeting with a number of the managers/ directors here and they’ll select who will be offered a volunteer space, having looked at your application and references. All applicants will then be contacted to let you know if you are successful and to start making the arrangements for you to come.
Good luck! We have more visa spaces open for an early January, June or September 2021 start, but places before that are already allocated if you need a visa.