Frequently asked questions

We answer some of the most common questions you ask us… if you need more information, please contact us.

Do I have to be a Catholic or Christian to apply?

The Assumption Sisters are a Catholic congregation of Sisters present in 32 countries. You will be working closely with them in their projects. We are looking for people who are open to the faith dimension, whether Catholics, other Christians and those who are searching for the meaning of life. It is essential that volunteers show respect for the religious faith of those they live and work with and are willing to grow in their own faith. This may mean attending prayer and Mass and joining in as far as you can.

How much does it cost? What about money?

If going overseas, you will be normally asked to pay for your travel (return flights), vaccinations, visa and insurance. We can help you with ideas for fundraising or applying for sponsorships and bursaries. The programme will cover most of your costs during the placement, including training courses, board and lodging, personal allowance.
For UK projects (volunteering in Newcastle and Middlesbrough) we provide training, travel within England, board and lodging and a personal allowance. Applicants coming from abroad will normally be responsible for financing their own travel (return flight) to England, visa, health fee, police check, TB test when required for the visa application. For those struggling to cover the complete costs, there may be a possibility for partial sponsorship.

What will I gain? Why should I volunteer abroad?

The volunteering is not just about what you give but also about what you will receive. You will meet people from all walks of life and experience cultures, traditions, and perspectives different from what you already know. Living with the locals will allow you to broaden your understanding of the country and form close friendships and be an integral part in their community. You will learn so much, grow as an individual and come back with the notion that you have received far more than what you gave. You will encounter challenges and overcome them with the help of the programme. Volunteers are accompanied throughout their placement, there is space and time for reflecting on their. There will be time for trips and retreats, fun and community activities.

What do I need to prepare before I leave?

Research and familiarise yourself with the country you are going to so that you may be aware of their culture, customs. For example you may need to share a room with other volunteers or live next to the Assumption Sisters. In some counties transportation or simply taking a shower is very different than in England! You may want to speak to someone who has volunteered there before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and prepare yourself for a new adventure! We will guide you through the preparations. Going abroad you need to make sure to get the right visa, check that your vaccinations are up to date and get the ones needed for the chosen country.

What is covered by the programme during my volunteering?

We provide you with a suitable placement and safe accommodation (some are in close proximity to the houses of the Assumption Sisters). You will receive a monthly allowance which covers food and personal pocket money. We pay for your travel for our retreats, reflection days, meeting up with other volunteers and some community outings.

What if I live abroad?

If you live in a country where there is an Assumption Volunteer Programme (or Assumption Mission Associates – AMA e.g. in the Philippines, USA, Spain, France etc.) and you want to serve in our projects, you must apply in your own country. They also send volunteers to the same projects as we do, including our UK projects. Find more information on their websites: Philippines: USA:
If you are from a country where there are no Assumption communities, or you are unsure, please feel free to get in touch with us and we will be able to guide you.