Last weekend, we welcomed back many of our past team volunteers for a reunion weekend. Every year, Castlerigg recruits around eight gap-year volunteers to help run the youth service, be it retreats, outreach or pilgrimages. The bond many of us form as volunteers over our gap year is unique and extremely strong, and lasts for much longer than the year we spend at Castlerigg! This was clear to see as we welcomed back volunteers from over 10 different gap year teams, many of whom are now married (some to each other!) and have families of their own, but all of whom remain friends. We caught up with each other, shared memories and stories of our time on the team at Castlerigg.

What particularly struck members of the current Castlerigg team, many of who had not met many past team members before, was the strong bonds of community that stretch over multiple generations of Castlerigg team. It wasn’t just the 2011 team talking to itself and the 2008 team talking to itself. We all shared a special bond regardless of if we knew each other particularly well or worked at Castlerigg together. It was this which above all made this weekend one of real joy, fun and community.

If you would like to become part of this community, and think working at Castlerigg as one of our gap year volunteers is something you would like to do, email director@castleriggmanor.co.uk for more information and an application form!