About the event
A 5 week long Exped working alongside the volunteer travel operator Camps International to offer volunteers (most of which are school age) a chance to participate in improving the local community with projects like building schools, community centres and improving water systems. The expeditions help to challenge volunteers view of the world, understand the day to day challenges rural communities face, help work on projects which transform communities and help them overcome significant issues they face including access to clean water, education and housing.
Who can take Part?
Please be aware this activity has a rigorous selection process, which includes being able to attend an interview and workshop prior to be selected. Members must be able to take part in manual labour in humid conditions and live day to day in a camp without out disabled access. This activity is sadly not suitable for wheelchair users.
Your passport must have at least six months validity during the time of travel.
Members will also require the relevant Jabs once places have been confirmed
Members will need to have a basic DBS check, once places have been confirmed.
- Taking part?
Please be aware this activity has a rigorous selection process, which includes being able to attend an interview and workshop prior to being selected.
- What to expect?
Members must be able to take part in manual labour and live day to day in camp without disabled access. This activity is sadly not suitable for wheelchair users.
- Before I go?
Members are also required to have the relevant jabs once places are confirmed.
- Will it cost me to attend?
Blesma activities are free to all Members – the only expense is getting yourself to and from the initial meeting point. If funding your travel costs could be a problem, speak to your BSO.
- What is the selection process?
The activities selection process is done on a needs basis. Those who will benefit the most from attending an activity will be given priority. This is done on the recommendation of their BSO. Those Members who have not attended any activities before, or who have not attended that particular type of activity before are considered next. Once the initial list is selected, all other applicants go on the reserve list. Should someone drop out, the same process is applied to select someone from the reserve list.
- How much notice will I be given?
Currently, Members who are selected to take part in an activity are given three months’ notice. If this notice period is increased, it is highly likely that the drop-out rate will also increase. If you are selected from the reserve list, your notification will depend on when the person whose place you are taking dropped out. This is why we ask Members to contact the Activities Team as soon as they become aware that they will not be able to attend an activity. In doing so. That way, we have the best opportunity to offer the place to another Member.
- How does the reserve list work?
Being on the reserve list does not automatically mean you will not get to attend the activity. In 2017, 54 per cent of people selected for an activity dropped out, meaning that almost half of attendees for all activities were selected from the reserve list. In 2017, 97 per cent of slots were filled despite the high drop-out rate. The remaining three per cent were mostly last-minute cancellations that were too late notice to fill (i.e. the day before).
- I have never been on a Blesma activity?
Currently, only 4.3 per cent of Members apply for activities. If you are one of the 95.7 per cent who hasn’t been on an activity before, perhaps because you have concerns about how you will cope, or you don’t know what to expect, please get in touch with either your BSO or the Activities Team directly on 020 8548 3519. They can advise on what might be suitable for you.
- Who will lead the activity?
Blesma Support Officers and Outreach Officers lead the events. In addition, of around 50 activities run in 2017, 22 were led by Members. We rely on Members volunteering to lead an activity, so if you are interested in doing that – please let us know! Do note that you will need to be qualified for some events.
- Am I deserving of a Blesma activity, what if others are more in need?
We do not discriminate! Activities are there for all Members and Widows to enjoy.
What did previous participants think of the Borneo Expedition?
"’I'd recommend it to anyone. I took part in a jungle trek at the end of our stay, and I felt like I was back in a team environment for the first time since leaving the Army."Billy
The whole thing gave me a massive sense of achievement. We were invited to the chief’s house on the last night, which is apparently quite a rarity, and when I was making a speech, something occurred to me that made complete sense. I said: “I’ve been getting help for the last seven years since being injured, so to be helping other people is fantastic.Wyn