Real life experience of the Castlerigg application process

Last year I was sat in my room at Aberystwyth University, not knowing what my job would be after graduation. I had spent the past two summers whilst at uni working at a Catholic summer camp in Seattle, USA, and I thought back to the joy working with others in an environment where you could explore what faith meant to you, no matter where you were on your journey. I decided to try and find a job that maybe gave me some of that joy I had experienced in that time working at camp. So I did what anyone with no clue where to start would do - I asked Google about Catholic youth ministry jobs in the UK, which led me via a few miss clicks to the Castlerigg Manor website. I read the basic information provided about the application for the volunteer team, and decided I had nothing to lose by applying. The role of a gap year volunteer looked, and is indeed, a lot of fun. 

A short while after this I received a phone call and letter asking me to come and see the staff at Castlerigg Manor for an interview. With this started the most natural and pleasant interview process I have experienced yet. Upon meeting the Castlerigg representative at the train station I was put at ease, and as we drove to the manor I had never felt more welcome. My interview was pleasant and I tried to just answer the questions as honestly as I could with my answer to the question; ‘What’s one word your friends use to describe you?’, being “Nosy.” Now if that’s not truthful I don’t know what is.  Soon after my interview I received an offer to come up and help and participate in a week retreat to see if working at the manor was something I really wanted to do. So I packed my bags and travelled up North, eagerly anticipating the week to come.

My taster week was blessed by warm weather and a pleasant group, I was able during this week to live as the volunteers do, and explore the role which I had applied for. The volunteer team were so open and happy to offer answers to any questions, so my mind was set to rest. I finished the week exhausted but happy and so I eagerly accepted the position offered to me by the Leadership team at Castlerigg Manor. Come August 2015 I started my new role and began to follow a new path in my life. Since then I have learnt things about myself, and this line of work that I never could have guessed. Before I worked as a volunteer I wasn’t aware how much work went into this way of life, nor did I know I could be so tired but so happy to be so. Overall I am so glad I took the leap of faith and applied because I am now more confident in myself and my faith.

Sarah, 21, Castlerigg Manor - Keswick

For an application form, or more information, check out our Volunteer page — or alternatively give us a call on 01768772711.