Volunteer Manager FAQs

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  1. Can anyone join an Expedition?

    Regardless of your background, education path, skills and experience, nationality or race we believe that a Raleigh Expedition should be open to anyone. You can join a Raleigh Expedition as a volunteer manager between the ages of 25 – 75, or if you’re a Raleigh alumni you can join as an office based role from the age of 23. Some of our roles for volunteer managers require specialist skills and some are open to everyone. Whatever role you take we are looking for people who share our belief in creating change through young people and are inspired and motivated by the energy of youth.

    Due to the nature of the environments, the remote locations and work that we undertake, any applicant with special medical or mobility requirements will be confidentially referred to our medical co-ordinator during the application process. This will determine if we can achieve the necessary safety requirements whilst trying to account for the needs and wishes of an individual. We have a good track record in supporting applications from those with a disability and will make every effort to accommodate participants subject to the requirement of the safe running of an adventurous and challenging team based endeavour. For more information call Lisa McCoy on +44 (0) 207 183 1291.

  2. How long are Expeditions?

    We run 13 week Expeditions throughout the year (every January, June and September). We also run an 8 week Expedition (starting in June), and an 11 week Expedition in Tanzania (starting in June).

  3. Can I extend my stay on an Expedition?

    Our programmes run for either 8 or 13 weeks. It is not possible to stay on for longer than the standard Expedition length, but if you enjoy your first Expedition you can always reapply for a second programme after completion of your first.

  4. What training will I receive?

    At Raleigh we pride ourselves on our training and support structure for all our volunteers. You will receive comprehensive training before and during your Expedition. Volunteer managers will be asked to attend a development weekend around two months prior to their Expedition which is over the course of a weekend, in the UK. Once all the volunteer managers are in country they will receive more in-depth training delivered by our permanent country staff over the course of 10 days.

  5. I don’t live in the UK, do I need to attend a training event?

    If it is possible, we ask that people try to attend the development weekend as it is really beneficial if everyone receives the same level of training. However, for all those unable to attend, all necessary training materials can be sent out electronically and we’re here to support you at the end of the phone, or email.

  6. Why should I choose Raleigh International?

    We are unique. Firstly our projects are worthwhile and sustainable. We have a permanent presence in every country we work in with a field base and permanent staff. This means we are constantly building relationships with the government, NGOs and local communities to ensure the projects are genuinely needed and are planned and delivered with long-term partners. Secondly, our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities so you’ll be living, working and making friends with people from all walks of life. Finally, we’ve been working with young people for over 30 years running structured Expeditions that are safe, challenging and life-changing.

  7. Can I drink alcohol on an Expedition?

    All our programmes at Raleigh are dry programmes so both you and the venturers, even those over the age of 18, are required to abide by those rules. If you would like to see a copy of the Raleigh code of conduct please get in touch with us.


  1. Can I choose the projects that I work on?

    All project based volunteer managers do not have a choice of which projects to be placed on. The needs and demands of the Expedition always come first so you will be placed where you are needed. You may do all three projects or you may stay on the same project site for all three phases.

  2. Do I have to be really fit for the adventure challenge?

    A basic level of fitness is necessary but volunteers achieve this through both team support and sheer determination.

  3. Can I work with animals?

    Our projects don’t involve working with animals. However, you may get the chance to see wildlife in some of the environments we work in.

  4. Will I be doing work that takes away jobs from the locals?

    Not at all. We work with project partners to provide materials and manpower to complete projects that wouldn’t otherwise get done, either because of a lack of funds or direction. On our project sites we work alongside locals, often bringing communities together for the first time and inspiring them to achieve things they never thought possible.


  1. Who takes part in an Expedition?

    We encourage people from all walks of life, nationalities and age groups. Volunteers are aged between 17 and 24 and volunteer managers between 25 and 75 and come from all over the world – including the host countries that we work in. As a volunteer manager only some of our roles require specialist skills, we have 11 different roles available so there is bound to be something which suits you.

  2. Can I go with a friend or partner?

    Yes, although it’s unlikely you will be allocated to the same project groups. The needs and demands of the Expedition will always be a priority, so we cannot guarantee which projects you will be placed on and who you will be placed with. To ensure you will be placed in the same Expedition country we would also advise to apply in advanced as this will also be dependent on role availability.

  3. Do I have to be a UK resident to join an Expedition?

    Definitely not! Our Expeditions are open to all nationalities with a basic level of English and we have people from all around the world taking part every year. Before submitting your application, please check the relevant embassy for visa requirements.

  4. Will I need a visa for the countries?

    This depends on your nationality and chosen Expedition country. Before submitting your application, please check the relevant embassy for visa requirements.

Costs and fundraising

  1. How much will it cost?

    This will depend on your chosen Expedition length and which time of year you take part in an Expedition.

    Expedition fundraising targets
    13 week Expedition $3950
    13 week Expedition beginning in June $3200
    11 week Expedition beginning in June (Tanzania only) $3,125
    8 week Expedition $3,050

    As our June Expeditions are the most popular with volunteers, we need more volunteer managers to support them. This is why we are able to reduce the target at this time of year.

    To recognise that the medic and adventure project manager roles require specialist knowledge and skills, bursaries are available. For further information please email internationalresources@raleighinternational.org

  2. Do I have to fundraise to join an Expedition?

    You can raise the funds to join the Expedition in any way you like. This may include traditional fundraising activities such as sponsored events and setting up a JustGiving page. We encourage all our volunteers to do some traditional fundraising as it’s a great way to raise awareness of our charitable activities and gets you in the spirit of Raleigh, however you can either fully or part fund the Expedition with your own savings if you wish. For more info on fundraising and how we can support you, visit our costs page. (link to VM costs page)

  3. Where does my money go?

    76% of your fundraising total goes towards running the Expedition in terms of planning and delivery of projects, staff costs in country, running field base, food and accommodation, in-country travel, specialist equipment, training in the UK and in-country etc. 12% goes towards recruitment, marketing and PR, 11% towards head office overheads and 1% goes towards the governance of running a charity.

  4. Will I have to arrange my own flight?

    Yes. You will be responsible for booking and paying for your own flight to your Expedition country, however we can advise you on which airport is best to fly to and what flight times would be most suitable.

  5. How much will my flight cost?

    This varies depending on your Expedition country, departure airport and how far in advance you book your tickets. However, departure prices from the UK usually range between £450 and £700.

  6. Are there any other expenses?

    You will be required to cover the cost of your flights, visas, any vaccinations you require and any personal belongings, but once you are in country Raleigh will cover the cost of all your food, accommodation, training and preparation, specialist equipment and insurance (excluding personal belongings cover).

  7. What happens if I do not achieve my minimum fundraising target?

    Applicants can pay for their Expedition in any way they like, not just by fundraising. If you want to fully or part fund your Expedition that is fine, we encourage fundraising as a way to raise awareness of our work and get in the spirit of Raleigh.

  8. What is the deadline for applying for an Expedition?

    We run Expeditions throughout the year and encourage volunteer managers to apply between six and 18 months in advance to ensure you get the role you want. Once you have passed your assessment volunteer managers have two years to accept a place on an Expedition. We do accept applications up to a month in advance, however this will depend on which roles we still have available and the vaccination deadlines, so if you’re looking at joining an Expedition within a month get in touch with us ASAP so we can fast track your application.

Skills and Experience

  1. Do I need any qualifications to apply as a volunteer manager?

    For our Medic role we require doctors, nurses and paramedics with at least two years post qualification experience. Our Adventure Project Manager role requires either a Mountain Leader qualification or someone who has had extensive experience trekking or on other outdoor activities. Although desirable, we don’t require specific qualifications for the other roles.

  2. Do I need to give you proof of my previous experience?

    When you apply you will need to submit your CV / résumé to us including any relevant experience that you feel will support your application. For the Photographer role we will require a portfolio and if your CV / résumé doesn’t reflect adequate experience we may also ask for examples of your writing for the Communications Officer role.

  3. I want to apply as a volunteer manager but I don’t have previous management experience, can I still apply?

    It isn’t essential you have previous people or project management experience to apply as a volunteer manager. We have a variation of roles available with different responsibilities so there will always be something to suit your skillset. The main qualities we look for in our volunteer managers is flexibility, dedication, passion and the ability to motivate and support young people. We assess all our volunteer managers beforehand via an assessment weekend or an interview.

  4. Do I need to have a first aid qualification to apply as a volunteer manager?

    All project based managers will need to complete a first aid course before they depart for their Expedition. If you need any advice on where to do this get in touch with us and we will try and help as much as we can.

  5. Will I need to complete a DBS (criminal records) check?

    Yes, all of our volunteer managers will need to complete a DBS check prior to departing on an Expedition. All offers are subject to references and a national criminal records check. Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from joining a programme with Raleigh, however you will be required to provide further information at the application stage.

Health and safety

  1. When do I need to send the medical form back?

    The medical form must be sent in within four weeks of your application. If this form is not received it might affect your place on Expedition.

  2. Does my GP have to sign it?

    Yes. There are two sections on the medical form, one for you to complete and another for your GP. This section must be completed in order to secure your place on Expedition.

  3. Do you provide my medical insurance?

    Once the medical form has been completed and received by the medical coordinator your insurance is provided. All current and previous medical conditions must be on the form and all medications listed. If you suffer with a condition that you haven’t put on your form this will void your insurance.

  4. Are there any medical restrictions for Expedition?

    We try to be as inclusive as possible but obviously need to ensure the safety of every individual on Expedition. If you suffer with a long standing medical condition please ensure that you discuss this with the medical coordinator at head office as soon as possible.

  5. What happens if I get diagnosed with a condition before I go?

    Please inform the medical coordinator as soon as possible. As long as the condition will not have an impact on your experience or the rest of the Expedition we can usually work around it and ensure the insurance covers you.

  6. What happens if I injure myself before I go?

    Please inform the medical coordinator to discuss the options available to you.

  7. Do I need any vaccines for the Expedition?

    All Expedition countries will require some vaccines to ensure you are protected against some common diseases. The list of essential and optional vaccines can be found in the welcome pack that is sent out to you upon completion of your booking. There are essential vaccines that are required for you to travel with us and the completed vaccine form must be returned to the medical coordinator at least four weeks before departure. You will not be accepted on Expedition unless you have had all of the essential vaccines.

  8. Do I need rabies vaccines?

    All of the countries we work in have a risk of rabies. The rabies vaccination is essential for Nicaragua & Costa Rica. Part of the appeal of Raleigh is that we work in remote environments, which are often a drive from the nearest suitable medical facilities. Without the vaccine, treatment of immunoglobulin is required within 24 hours, however there is a worldwide shortage of this treatment. We cannot guarantee we can get you to a centre that stocks the treatment within 24 hours of being bitten, licked or scratched by a potentially rabid animal. Current guidelines issued by the WHO, CDC and the NHS recommend that a rabies vaccine is required for travel to our Expedition countries for a stay of more than four weeks.

  9. Does a doctor need to sign my vaccine form?

    Your GP doesn’t need to sign your form but your practice nurse or travel clinic nurse can help you to fill it in correctly.

  10. Will I need to take malaria tablets?

    Tanzania, Nicaragua & Costa Rica are malarial areas and will require you to take malaria tablets. Please see your practice nurse, GP or travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure date to discuss your options. You must also ensure that you have enough tablets with you on Expedition to cover the whole duration.

  11. Which malaria tablets do I need to take?

    There are a variety of different tablets available for malaria prevention. Your practice nurse, GP or travel clinic will be able to help you decide which one is most suitable for the area you are travelling to. There is a medical coordinator available at head office to answer these questions and run through the choices if needs be. If you travel on after your Expedition the areas you visit may have different malaria tablet requirements.

    When do I take them?

    All of the malaria tablets are different so please check if the ones you are taking are daily or weekly. If you’re on weekly tablets please make sure you take them on a Sunday for the duration of the Expedition. All malaria tablets need to be taken before, during and after Expedition for varying lengths of time, please make sure you’re aware of these timescales.

  12. Do we purify water that we drink?

    Water that has any risk of causing illness will be purified. On static sites we will provide the purification systems to purify large volumes of water for the whole group to drink and cook with. Whilst on the trekking phase you will require your own water purification tablets as you may have to fill up your water bottles in rivers and from local supplies.

  13. What should we purify the water with?

    Over the years we have found that chlorine water purification tablets with filters are the safest and most effective way to purify water so it’s safe to drink. Iodine tablets are also available for purchase.

  14. What happens if I become ill during the Expedition?

    We have a team of medics on every Expedition and each site has an extensive medical kit available. We have good relationships with the local doctors and hospitals too and will ensure you get any medical care you need. Your insurance covers your medical expenses as long as all conditions have been put on your medical form. The insurance also covers repatriation to the UK should this become necessary.

  15. Can I wear contact lenses while I’m on programme?

    Not on project sites. We operate in very rural and remote areas. Sanitary conditions mean that there is a high risk of serious eye infection and there are rarely specialist eye clinics in the countries we operate in. We do not allow people to wear contact lenses whilst participating in Raleigh programmes.

    Participants should ensure they have at least one pair of glasses if they need them to be able to see, ideally with a back up pair in case of loss or damage. Volunteers can wear them whilst at field base where good hygiene can be maintained, just not whilst out in the field.

Further travel

  1. What do I need to consider if I am going to travel on afterwards?

    Please check the vaccine and malaria recommendations for the areas. You will need your own medical insurance from the day your Expedition ends. Please see the insurance documents within the information pack for details.

  2. Can I hang out at field base after my Expedition?

    No, the country director and country staff will need to focus on planning the next Expedition, so they will be very busy!

Find out more

We’re a friendly team, driven by wanting to make an impact around the world, with a soft spot for cake, camping and softball. We love nothing more than to chat about our work. Call us today on +44 (0)207 183 1295.

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