As a result of the global pandemic, Raleigh suspended its international volunteering programmes on 16 March and successfully and safely returned over 500 volunteers home. Raleigh’s international staff team are now working remotely at home but fully connected and focused on restarting our programmes or continuing where safe to do so.
We remain optimistic that our Expedition programmes from September this year will go ahead and are continuing to monitor this very closely. The safety and wellbeing of our volunteers, staff and the communities where we work, is at the heart of everything we do at Raleigh. We are constantly monitoring the advice provided by the World Health Organisation, the UK government, as well as governments in our countries of operation.
Please see below the current answers to some frequently asked questions. Get in touch if you can’t find the answer you need.
What happens if I were to sign up now to volunteer and Raleigh are forced to cancel the programme due to Covid-19?
If we have to cancel the programme in advance, you’ll be able to defer your place to a future Expedition or we’ll make sure you get any fundraising contributions appropriately returned. We’re planning Expeditions from September to December 2020 and throughout 2021 and beyond.
Should I take out travel insurance?
We always recommend that volunteers take out cheap and affordable travel insurance that provide additional cover for flight bookings, change in travel plans, personal possessions etc, to reduce your personal financial risk.
What steps are you taking to keep volunteers are safe?
We are constantly monitoring and assessing the situation, here and in each Expedition country. We have permanent staff in each country that are in contact with local governments, embassies and other authorities. We’ll only go ahead when we know that we can maintain our high standards of safety and risk management. We will be working to review and update our operational protocols in the next few months to ensure we can work safely for all.
Is Raleigh delivering any programmes that may help respond to the Covid-19 outbreak?
Our water, sanitation health and hygiene (WASH) programmes are already closing aligned to the type of projects that will be valuable in a post-Covid world. We will be working with project partners and communities to better understand how the needs may have changed and how we can tailor of projects and activities to support even more. More broadly, our non-Expedition programmes that work with national volunteers only are also being developed to respond to this global issue.
What can I be doing now?
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to MyRaleigh, our online learning portal. Then you can start familiarising yourself with the pre-departure documentation you’ll need to complete later, start reading up on the country and its projects, life of Expedition and the kit you will need.
Once that decision is made in mid-July, and if it is positive (which we’re very much hoping it will be!), we’ll need your full support and commitment to those pre-Expedition preparations. We’re confident that this date will still leave plenty of time for you to get all your vaccinations, signed medical forms, visas and other requirements but it will require your proactivity and commitment to getting those done.