God needs you!

Sion Community

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Gap Years.

Whether you have just left school, are thinking about taking a sabbatical from work, or perhaps on the brink of retirement, there are many openings within the Church for service. They can lead to life changing times of self-discovery and adventure, and for some, lead to radical long term changes of direction in life.

(Compiled by the National Office for Vocation and used with permission).

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ATD Fourth World

48 Addington Square, London SE5 7LB, 020-7703 3231,  www.atd-uk.org

Type of Work:  Youth / Lay Missionary Overseas / Social Work / Community Living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  Negotiable

Comments:  ATD Fourth World is an international voluntary organisation.  It develops a human rights approach to overcoming extreme poverty, working in partnership with the most disadvantaged, supporting their efforts in the fight against poverty and their struggle for divinity.

Castlerigg Manor

Manor Brow, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4AR, tel: 01768 772711  www.castleriggmanor.com

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat Centre

Minimum Age:  21 years

Average length of service:  2 years

Comments:  Residential with young people aged mainly 15-18 years.  Courses are for a week or weekend and are in personal, social and spiritual education.  The centre also welcomes holiday guests and others, to use the facilities.

Catholic Children's Society (Arundel & Brighton, Portsmouth and Southwark)

49 Russell Hill Road, Purley, Surrey, CR8 2XB, tel: 020-8668 2181

Type of Work:  Social Work

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  Negotiable

Comments:  The CCS operates with the Westminster Diocese with Day Family Care Centre in Poplar, Adoption, Fostering, social work, school counselling and support for homeless families.

Catholic Institute for International Relations

Unit 3 Canonbury Yard, 190a New North Road, London N1 7BJ, tel: 020-7354 0883,  www.ciir.org

Type of Work:  Lay Missionaries

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  2 years

Comments:  Charity working to overcome poverty in the Third World.  Providing information on social, economic and political issues.

Columban Lay Missionaries

Lay Mission Coordinator, 66 Newland Road, Silvertown, London, E16 2HN, tel: 020-7059 0253,  www.columbans.co.uk

Type of Work:  Community Living / Faith sharing

Minimum Age:  23 years

Average length of service:  3 years

Comments:  The Columban Lay Missionary programme is for people whose faith calls them to share in the lives of the poor and those on the margins of society.

Corrymeela Community

Volunteer Coordinator, Ballycastle , Co Antrim, N. Ireland  BT54 6QU, tel: +44 28 2076 2626

Type of Work:  Community Living / Residential Centre

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  Flexible

Comments:  The volunteer will help with all aspects of the Centre, including hosting groups, planning activities, housekeeping, drama and much more.

Jesuit Volunteer Service

22 New Mount Street, Manchester, M4 4DE,  tel: 0161-832 6888,  www.jesuitvolunteers-uk.org

Type of Work:  Community Living / Social Justice

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  The JVC is shaped by four values - community living, simple life style, social justice and spirituality.

Lasallian Developing World Projects

La Salle House, 405 Beulah Hill, London SE19 3HB,  tel: 020-8670 1612   www.delasalle.org.uk

Type of Work:  Lay missionary work overseas

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  5 weeks - 1 year

Comments:  We have two objectives, one is to supply educational facilities to enable young people to go to school in developing countries, secondly by living out there and working with the local community, we ourselves are educated.

L’Arche

10 Brigate, Silsden, Teighley, W Yorks, BD20 9JT, tel: 01535 656186  www.larche.org.uk

Type of Work:  Community Living

Minimum Age:

Average length of service:

Comments:  L’Arche work to build communities with people who have learning difficulties

Leonard Cheshire Foundation

30 Millbank, London SW1P 4QD, www.leonard-cheshire.org

Type of Work:  Care for sick and disabled

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  3 months

Comments: Volunteers are required to assist with the day-to-day personal care of disabled residents.

Pilgrims Community

St Joseph's Convent, Brockhurst Lane, Monks Kirby, Warks. CV23 0RA, tel: 01788 834633   www.pilgrimscommunity.com

Type of Work:  Youth / Evangelisation / Social Work / Community Living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  A Catholic parish based community trained in discipleship and evangelisation.  Working in teams among young people in the Nottingham Diocese.  School missions, follow up retreats service and work in the community.

St. Cassian's Centre

Kintbury, Hungerford, Berks, RG17 9SR, tel: 01488 658267 www.kintbury.org

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat / Community living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:   St Cassian's is a retreat centre for young people aged 16 - 22 years.  It is run by a group of 12 brothers, sisters and six volunteers pre or post university.

Salesians of Don Bosco

Savio House, Ingersley Road, Bollington Cheshire, SK10 5RW, tel: 01625 575405, www.salesians.org.uk

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat Centre

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  Volunteers live as part of the Salesian Community.  They work with Salesian priests and brothers in organising and running retreats and days for young people.

Salford RC Diocesan Youth Commission

Diocesan Area Youth Office, Mount Carmel High, Wordsworth Road, Accrington, Lancs.  BB5 0LU, tel: 01254 395650

Type of Work:  Community Living / Social Work / Residential Work

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  Youth work

Simon Community

PO Box 1187, London, NW5 4HW, tel: 020-7485 6639

Type of Work:  Social work with homeless / Community Living

Minimum Age:  19 years

Average length of service:  4 months

Comments:  The Simon Community is a community of homeless people and volunteers living and working together.  It is Catholic in its foundation but accepts all faiths and none.  It consists of a night shelter, outreach team, two London houses and a farm.

Sion Community

SENT, Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9BX, tel: 01277 215011; www.sioncommunity.org.uk

Type of Work:  Youth / Conference Centre / Evangelisation / Community living

Minimum Age:  19 years

Average length of service: 1 year

Comments:  A community of lay, priests and religious who have come together to do missions and to evangelise in our own country.  We see a great need for community living and the apostolate of the home mission.

Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary

Lay Missionary Volunteer, 100 Hassett Road, London E9 5SJ,  tel: 020-8985 3047

Type of Work:  Lay Missionary

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  The Lay Missionary works alongside the sisters in their work for the poor in various missions at home and abroad chiefly in Zambia and El Salvador.

Soli House Retreat Centre

Mill Lane, Stratford on Avon, Warks. CV37 6BJ, tel: 01789 267011,  www.soli.org.uk

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat Centre / Community Living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  The Diocese of Birmingham's Youth Retreat Centre for 14 plus.  It involves living in community and working with other young adults.

SPEC Centre

All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, Herts, AL2 1AE, tel: 01727 828888,  www.spec-centre.org.uk

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat Centre / Evangelisation / Community Living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  A residential Retreat Centre and resource, run by a married couple and a team of young adult volunteers serving the 16-30 year age range offering made to measure experiences that act as either pre-evangelising, evangelising or catechising (SPEC).

Sue Ryder Foundation

Cavendish, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 8AY, tel: 01787 280252

Type of Work:  Care for the sick and disabled

Minimum Age:  16 years

Average length of service:  2 months

Comments:  Volunteers work alongside staff on necessary work e.g. helping with patients, domestic, office or other duties which may be at the retreat house in Walsingham.  Strong sense of responsibility and dedication essential.

The Briars Residential Youth Centre

Crich Common, Derbyshire, DE4 5BW, tel: 01773 852044,  www.briars-youth-centre.freeserve.co.uk

Type of Work:  Youth / Retreat Centre / Evangelisation / community Living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  We aim to further the personal, social and spiritual development of young people in an informal educational environment and to draw young people to active and responsible participation in the life of the church and society.

The Grail

125 Waxwell Lane, Pinner, Mddx HA5 3ER, tel: 020-8866 2195

Type of Work:  Retreat Centre / Community Living

Minimum Age:  20 years

Average length of service:  3 months

Comments:  Volunteers assist the regular staff and community with all aspects of hospitality at this busy centre.

Vincentian Volunteers

Sr Pauline Gaughan D.C., 39 Marlsford Street, Liverpool L6 6AX www.vincentianvolunteers.org

Type of Work:  Youth / Social Work / Community living

Minimum Age:  18 years

Average length of service:  1 year

Comments:  The Vincentian Volunteer programme challenges young people to work with the poor, to live simply with other volunteers and to share the spirit and vision of St Vincent de Paul

Voluntary Service Overseas

317 Putney Bridge Road, London SW15 2PN,  www.vso.org.uk

Type of Work:  Overseas Development

Minimum Age:  25 years

Average length of service:  2 years

Comments:  VSO is a charity, sending aid to developing countries in the form of skilled professional and trades people.  VSO offers the human resources needed, where local skills may be lacking, promoting self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

Youth 2000 Mission Team

Youth 2000, PO Box 176, Leeds. LS17 9XU

Tel: 01937 579700  Website: www.youth2000.org

Type of Work: Mission work in parishes and schools across England and Wales

Minimum Age: 18 years

Average length of service: 9 - 12 months

Comments: Youth 2000 organises prayer festivals throughout England and Wales. All events are centred around the Blessed Sacrament. The music is contemporary and the organisation is run by young people for young people.