Virtual Vacations Projects Fair 2021

A Zoom event for University students!

This Saturday, 27th February 2021, we will be hosting several organisations who run projects in the Easter and Summer Vacations.
All are listed here with a description of what opportunities they offer. The projects involve an engagement alongside others and a living out of our faith, in the service of others, or in pursuit of a common goal (for example on pilgrimage), in ways that aren’t always possible in the busy-ness of an Oxford term.
Students, please do drop in (Zoom link here) to find out about the projects and see whether something might appeal to you and be worthwhile applying for.

For a pdf booklet of the Virtual Vacations Projects Fair, please click here: VPF Attendees Jan 2021 booklet

Assumption Volunteers

Assumption Volunteers offers projects in the UK (still running!), Philippines, India, Lithuania and Rwanda (from 2022) – in educational / environmental / creative projects with children. Our UK projects in Newcastle and Middlesbrough based in a creative arts centre working with children in poorly resourced areas. Suitable for a gap-year (for a period of 3-12 months) it will give you experience, confidence and some completely new skills. A life-changing experience with a strong international flavour! Accommodation, allowance and training provided. Get in touch to find out more.




Videos:    and



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am-1pm


Step into the Gap is CAFOD’s Gap year programme. It is a leadership development programme that allows participants to gain skills, work experience and opportunities to learn about international development and faith. Participants are based in placements across the UK for the 10 month programme based in Catholic retreat centres, university and school chaplaincies as well as with CAFOD. Full time places include accommodation, a stipend and travel expenses. “Step into the Gap came at a really good time in my life. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to be part of the Castlerigg community {Rebecca’s placement] as well as the CAFOD one.” Rebecca (Step into the Gap participant 2019/ 2020)



 Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 1pm

Faithful Companions of Jesus

The FCJ sisters are hosting a number of upcoming events both online and in-person. You can access the full list and registration information via the website

Here are some which may be of interest:

FCJ Centre St Hugh’s

A centre for Community, Young people and Faith development

Email for information or to book a place for any of the following events:



Lectio Online – Weekly

Explore the Sunday Gospel – Monday’s 7:30-8:30pm

Discernment Programme – 21st & 28th April, 5th &12th May

In Collaboration with Compass and the Catholic Vocations Project.

Opportunity to learn more about discernment and how to make decisions with the lens of faith. There will be input each week and opportunity for discussion with other young adults. Each session will end with a Q&A
Wednesdays 7pm – 8:30 pm

Other online events can be found via:





Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 3pm


The Youth for a United World of the Focolari Movement

The Youth for a United World are young people between the ages of 17 and 30, scattered across five continents, of different ethnicities, nationalities and cultures. They belong to various Christian denominations, different religions, or do not profess a religious belief, but they all are united by the desire to build a more united world: to make humankind more and more into a single family, where the personal identity of every individual is honoured.

They strive in many ways to build universal brotherhood, to heal the divisions that exist within families, between generations, between different social groups, etc.

They are engaged in international campaigns such as the United World Project in support of peace and fraternity in local and global public events, which give testimony, that it is possible to live as brothers and sisters. They are also engaged in simple gestures of solidarity and dialogue with those close to them on a daily basis: the needy and marginalized, acquaintances and family. In each of these neighbours they try to see a brother or a sister to welcome.

Their way of living has given rise to many types of activities – from small projects in response to emergency situations, such as helping people in nations that have been affected by natural disaster or war, to the numerous seeds of brotherhood, wherein young people are engaged in on-going local projects in favour of the most needy, like street children and the homeless, the elderly and the abandoned, prisoners and immigrants – everything that their imaginations can come up with to help in healing the wounds of the society in which they live.

For more information:



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 12pm

Jesuit Missions Volunteering

Do you feel called to serve others? Are you looking for a new way of life? Would you like to gain experience with an international NGO? Volunteer with Jesuit Missions and make a difference to the lives of some of the world’s most marginalised communities!

Volunteering with Jesuit Missions enables you to practice your faith by serving others. Covid-19 has changed the way we work and while we are not able to confirm our summer placement in Kyrgyzstan yet, we have a number of exciting opportunities for students to be a part of our mission. Join us to hear about how you can be involved in our advocacy campaigns for social justice and our strategy for the COP 26 climate conference in November.

For more details, please visit



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 1pm

JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service)

Nicholas Hanrahan

The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany, serve as companions, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced individuals worldwide. JRS in the UK has always held a special ministry to support those who find themselves held indefinitely in immigration detention, and those who have been left destitute by the asylum system in the UK.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, JRS UK have temporarily closed their day centre but continue to support their refugee friends with deliveries of food and toiletry parcels. Each refugee receives a fortnightly £15 hardship grant through a prepaid Mastercard, as well as being able to join in with activities like drama and photography workshops which have moved online. Refugee friends are supported over the phone by JRS staff and volunteers. We also run a small hosting scheme, providing short term, stable accommodation for those we accompany who would otherwise be homeless.

In detention, we are able to offer emotional support to those who find themselves in this very isolated and uncertain time. As part of our commitment to walk alongside those we serve, we continue to raise the issue of their mistreatment and advocate for change.




Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 1pm

Jesuit Young Adult Ministries

We are a team of Jesuits and collaborators that offers events for young adults in the Ignatian tradition.

(adapted from the Vacation Project Fair 2020 booklet)

Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 1pm


MAGIS – Ignatian opportunities for young adults to seek and find God in all things

Join young people and grow in your capacity for discernment and to ‘find God in all things’, through a choice of placement (pilgrimage, social engagement, cultural activities, retreat etc.) and through a large gathering with all participants at the end of the programme.


(adapted from the Vacation Project Fair 2020 booklet)

Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 1pm

Oxford and Cambridge University Chaplaincies Pilgrimage to Lourdes

In 1858 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a humble girl called Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes, south-west France. Our Lady’s message was repentance and prayer. Very soon a tradition of pilgrimage began, particularly bringing those who are unwell in mind or body to Lourdes.

Our pilgrimage is [usually in the last week of July-beginning of August]. We stay in hostels and meet for daily Mass, lunch and dinner. We work for the voluntary organization that runs Lourdes. Women help in the baths and hostels used by other pilgrimages. Men work in the baths, at the airport, train station and as stewards for the official liturgies.

Coming to Lourdes is an opportunity to serve others in a welcoming community of past and present members of Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Contact: Paul Ryan [email on request]

(adapted from the Vacation Project Fair 2020 booklet)

Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 12pm – 3pm

Oxford Hub

Want to be part of social and environmental change across Oxford? Become a member of Oxford Hub! We bring people and organisations together to make Oxford a better place for everyone.

To do this, we run a range of community programmes that build new, meaningful relationships in the community. There’s something for everyone, whether that be FELLOW, giving free English Language lessons to Oxford residents, or OxUnboxed, our non-profit refill shop that reduces plastic waste. We also support innovation, with programmes that support social enterprises and tackle challenges within the charity sector.

Be part of what we do. Sign up to our newsletter, check out our programmes on our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @oxfordhub to build a better Oxford.

Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 12pm – 2pm

St Cassian's Centre Kintbury

Watch the video here:

A year at St Cassian’s Centre, on the Volunteer Team, is an opportunity to live an authentically Catholic Christian life in community. Each volunteer brings their own unique gifts, talents, and skills to share the gospel with young people from all over the country (& beyond!) who come to St Cassian’s on retreat.

Our community lives, prays, and serves together working, mainly, with students aged 7 – 18.

Amongst the activities The Volunteer Team are responsible for are;

leading small groups of young people in ice breaker games, drama, art, music and personal reflection and prayer; preparation of aspects of liturgy; hospitality and assisting with the day to day running of the Centre. We also run our retreats and activities online, so media and digital skills are very welcome!


August 2021- July 2022- All food and accommodation provided + weekly living allowance.



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 3pm

St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales)

Watch the video here!

We’re committed to combatting poverty, tackling isolation, providing support and offering sincere friendship to people in our local communities. We support the most vulnerable in society and give them a chance of a happier life. There are many ways you can get involved with our work if you’d like to. []

Turn your concern into action.

Contact: Teresa Kehoe



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 3pm

Student Cross

Student Cross is an opportunity to spend Holy Week differently. A pilgrimage which started in 1948, 11 groups of all ages and backgrounds walk to Walsingham, living in community and collectively carrying a cross as a witness to the people that we meet on the way. All pilgrims gather on Good Friday in Walsingham for the Easter celebrations. The Oxford group will be accompanied by Fr Simon Bishop SJ, former Oxford University Catholic Chaplain. Unfortunately we will not be able to walk on pilgrimage physically at Easter 2021 due to continuing COVID restrictions. However, we are developing plans for a virtual pilgrimage. Find out more at  and



Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: 11am – 3pm

Vincentian Volunteers Limited

The current Vincentian Volunteers encourage you to join! Watch here

Vincentian Volunteers Limited are Christian young people aged 18-35, from all over the world, who commit a year of their lives to the service of vulnerable people. During their year with us, they live in a community of three or four people and engage in voluntary work in partnership with other, well known charity organisations in order to help the impoverished, the homeless, the disabled, refugees and those suffering with addictions within the local community.

We are a Christian organisation with a mission to provide care and support to those in need, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity and gender.




Availability at the Virtual VPF 2021: tbc