SendME FAQs

What is SendME?

SendME aims to mobilise UK volunteers with the right skills to match needs at our partner organisations, helping them to have a bigger impact on the people they serve. 

SendME not designed to be a guided experience or short term package and we therefore expect volunteers to take a lot of responsibility for managing their own time and making their placement a success. You will need to be confident that you can cope with living in the Middle East and be prepared to accept the challenges that come with it. You will be supported by Embrace and a local partner, but you will be expected to make most of the practical arrangements yourself.

Who can volunteer through SendME?

Anyone aged 18 or over and resident in the UK is eligible to volunteer. For participants aged over 75, there may be additional insurance costs to pay.

Unfortunately, due to high demand, not everyone who applies will be able to volunteer. 

How long do placements last?

All our placements are unique and depend on the needs of our partners so placements range from a few weeks up to a year.

How much does it cost?

The only thing you need to pay upfront is the SendME fee (£124) once you have been offered a place.  Other than that, we do not charge for any costs as you will need to book your own flights and pay for all your living expenses locally. 

What does the fee include?

The SendME fee includes comprehensive insurance cover, including 24 hour emergency assistance, health screening, a safeguarding check, induction expenses and administration costs.  

What else will I need to pay for?

You will need to pay for your own flights, visas, vaccinations, travel to and from the induction, and airport transfers. You will also need to fund your living expenses while on placement, which may include accommodation, food, transport, and recreation.

A guideline monthly living expense is included with each vacancy listing, and suggested accommodation arrangements are detailed in the description.

You will need to submit a budget when you apply to demonstrate you are able to fund yourself for the duration of the placement, and we may ask you to submit evidence in support of this.

Why are some placements so much more expensive than others of a similar length?

This is because each placement is unique and depends on what our partner can provide free of charge. For example, on some placements, the local partner may be able to provide free or subsidised accommodation on site or with a local family, while on other placements you will need to pay for private accommodation. The expected accommodation arrangements for each placement are detailed in the description.

How are volunteers selected?

Volunteers will be selected for specific roles based on their relevant experience and skills.

As SendME is first and foremost about contributing to the important work of our partners, applicants who best meet the personal requirements will be chosen. We will also take into account applicants’ character and compatibility with our ethos, their ability to cope well in potentially challenging Middle East environments, and their availability to volunteer for the requested timeframes.

What if I’m not available for the exact dates advertised?

While we favour applicants who can volunteer for the requested timeframes, there may be some flexibility over the start date or duration of placements. If you have any queries about the dates of a particular vacancy, please contact us.

How do I apply?

If you feel you are suitable for one of the placements listed on our website, simply click ‘Apply now’ at the bottom of the vacancy page to download the application pack. Complete the form and then email it back to us.

What happens after I apply?

We will review and respond to your application as soon as possible. This may involve having a telephone conversation with you to clarify any information and get a better idea of why you would like to volunteer for us. We will also contact your nominated referees and ask them to complete a short reference form. If we decide to pursue your application, we will share it with the local partner in question and invite you to the next induction day. 

The induction is a compulsory part of the application process and will provide you with all you need to know before volunteering overseas with Embrace. You will also have an informal interview with Embrace staff and we will discuss your plans for financing your placement. 

After completing the induction we may make you a formal offer of a place and issue you with a volunteering contract. You will need to return the contract and the SendME fee within 28 days and we will arrange for your DBS and health checks to take place. 

What about passports and visas?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid passport for the placement; you will need at least six months validity left on your passport from the date of your return flight. 

It is also your responsibility to ensure you can obtain the correct visas for your placement. Information about visas can usually be found on the relevant country’s UK embassy website. UK passport holders can obtain visas on arrival in all of the countries we work in, but it is your responsibility to check the latest information and regulations in time for your placement, as they are subject to change.

Will I need vaccinations?

Please check NHS advice for the country you will be travelling to and arrange to update your vaccinations as necessary. All volunteers will need to undergo an online (or paper-based) health screening provided by our partners InterHealth who can also advise you on any vaccinations you may need, but getting it done in advance will prevent any delays to your departure.

 How fit do I need to be?

This will depend on the nature of your placement but you should be confident that you are generally fit and healthy and able to work in a hot climate. All volunteers will need to undergo an online (or paper-based) health screening provided by our partners InterHealth who will confirm whether you can undertake the placement safely. Receiving health clearance is compulsory in order to be covered by our travel insurance policy. 

Who organises flights?

It is your responsibility to organise flights to and from your placement. After you have signed the contract to confirm your place on SendME, we recommend you book flights as soon as possible to achieve the best price. Once you have booked the flights, you will need to forward to us the full details of your travel itinerary. 

What about transfers?

You will need to arrange and pay for your own transfers. If our local partner can meet you at the airport on arrival in the country we will inform you of this well in advance. 

What will I do while on placement?

Your experience will obviously vary significantly on whether you volunteer in a school, office, or hospital, but your day to day tasks will be determined by our partner who will manage your placement. We will provide as much information in advance as we can about your placement and the activities you’ll be involved with, and we do our best to ensure your experience matches your expectations. However, you will need to be flexible and prepared to adapt to situations as you find them.

Where will I stay?

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements for where you will be staying, but our partner can offer advice and support in this. In some cases, your host partner may be able to provide free or subsidised accommodation on site or with a local family, while on other placements you will need to find private accommodation.  Details of what you can expect are included in the placement description. You will need to be prepared to accept living conditions which may not match UK standards of comfort. 

What will I eat?

As with accommodation, you will be expected to cater for yourself during your placement. While you are volunteering on site the partner may be able to provide meals in a canteen, for example, but you should expect to have to cook or eat locally most of the time. 

How much free time will there be?

In general, you will be expected to volunteer a normal working week alongside the other staff at your host partner, with time during the evenings and weekends free for you to relax or explore the rest of the country. For longer term volunteers, there will be extended breaks every six weeks to give you a chance to rest and recharge.

Is it safe?

We monitor Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice regarding the location of your placement very closely, and make case by case decisions about whether to go ahead with a placement. We will never send a volunteer to an area that we consider to be unsafe. Nevertheless, the situation in the countries we work in can change quickly, and it is impossible to guarantee incident-free placements anywhere in the world. We receive daily security updates and are in constant communication with our partners to assess risk. If a situation does deteriorate while you are on placement, we are able to coordinate a quick and appropriate response and your insurance cover includes 24 hour emergency assistance if required.

Can I go with my family/church group?

SendME is designed for individual volunteers with the particular skills that our partners have requested. For this reason, SendME does not currently facilitate placements for families or groups. However, it may be possible for more than one volunteer to travel or serve together on request. This can only be accommodated in exceptional circumstances, and we do not guarantee such requests will be met.