How Hard Is It To Volunteer?


For this New Year’s I decided that rather than stand with thousands of randoms on Primrose Hill (looking at the fireworks over Thames and dodging firecrackers from the knobheads in the crowd) I’d try and do some voluntary work.  I know that homeless shelters get inundated this time of year and I wanted to help out where I could.  Sounds easy right?

Well no, apparently not.  First place I went to I offered to help out in the kitchens.  Here goes the rough conversation…

THEM: “Do you have any chef qualifications or food safety awards?”

ME: “Well no I don’t but I work in the food and drink industry, I know what I’m doing in the…”

THEM: “Sorry sir, can’t help you.  Maybe you’d like to donate some money instead?”


Ok, no luck there.  Next up was a post offering to chat with the guys and girls coming through the doors.

THEM: “Do you have any counseling qualifications or training?”

ME: “Well no I don’t but I’ve personally suffered from mental illness and have a fair idea of…”

THEM: “Sorry sir, can’t help you.  Maybe you’d like to donate some money instead?”


I gave up by the time the third and fourth places said roughly the same.  I get that the charities have to cover their arses to an extent.  But is it just me that thought this was a bit ridiculous?

Hey ho, off to Primrose Hill then…


15 thoughts on “How Hard Is It To Volunteer?”

  1. I had no idea that it’s become such a process to volunteer somewhere- I guess some places have all the help they need. I answered an advert to volunteer at a non-profit agency and they sent me a 4 page application and asking for references and work history! Sad when you just can’t help out by pitching in (unless it’s with your wallet) anymore.

  2. As a former one of those you wanted to volunteer for, I had to smile at this. You should try your hand at publishing a book, you certainly have a knack as to how to write and tell a story, in this case a fun one. Happy new year, and if you can do Bring-me-my-wine

  3. I hear you. I did two days last year for a big homeless charity and was subject to misogynistic bullying by some untalented ranty chef who was clearly more there for the POWER than the giving. Put him back in his box tout suite natch. Still I was up for another stint this year, so tried to find a different kitchen and asked them to suggest a location where there was parking. I was then met with an ‘I’m too busy for dumb questions like this!’ response. Back to the fireplace with the mulled wine, home made cake and board games then. Hey ho, not like I didn’t try! 😉

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