Gransnet forums


Do you volunteer? If not, why not?

(70 Posts)
kittylester Fri 31-Jan-20 15:46:45

H1954 asked this on another thread so I hope she doesn't mind me starting the thread.

I volunteer for the Alzheimers Society (had any of you spotted that!) and I love it. I have volunteered all my adult life. Dh does volunteer driving fir RVS, taking people to hospital for cancer treatment.

But, I have friends who dont and would never consider volunteering so I am interested in why people do, or dont, volunteer.

I do it because I love meeting people.

lemongrove Fri 31-Jan-20 15:53:07

Have volunteered for different charities on and off over the years Kitty and made some good friends along the way as a nice bonus.Currently not doing any because caring for DGC has taken prominence, and certain health problems.

Lucca Fri 31-Jan-20 15:56:08

I did fora while small library but found it really boring, ditto charity bookshop, just not enough to do and I hate standing around bored ! I’d love to do something useful though

Lovemybed Fri 31-Jan-20 16:01:30

I think probably the commitment aspect puts a lot of people off and also ( me currently) health issues. Still able to do some low key things - writing to persecuted Christians e,g,
Would really like to do some primary tutoring but not via agency etc and of course wouldn't want paying but can't see a way to find someone who'd benefit. Can't really advertise!
Husband walks 2 lots of dogs for 2 people via Cinnamon Trust which he loves and does volunteer driving once a month.

Ellianne Fri 31-Jan-20 16:16:04

I would love to do something but it all involves a commitment ie. a certain number of hours on a certain day. I would feel guilty about letting people down if I couldn't do it one week, (DGC emergency or doctor visit etc.) It would be fine if I could do it as and when I wanted to but I understand that wouldn't work.

SueDonim Fri 31-Jan-20 16:36:56

I’ve volunteered for many things over the years but I don’t now, unless you call organising a book group volunteering.

I did sign up to volunteer with older people but it all took so long. Even after almost a year I still hadn’t had the necessary training. Then other things arose and as I was disillusioned with the charity, I decided to withdraw.

Jane10 Fri 31-Jan-20 16:44:50

I've got an interview with the RVS next week. They're looking for ward volunteers. Not sure exactly what's involved but I'm keen to find out.

TwiceAsNice Fri 31-Jan-20 16:46:39

I volunteer once a month at our church playgroup and it’s me who does the story and songs for the children at the end ( I was a nursery nurse in my first career)I also make cakes for them twice a month.

I belong to a knitting group in a centre that supports learning disability adults and do this once a week. The finished children’s jumpers go to Romanian orphanages. Some of the adults come to our church and are very welcome. They swapped to us when a previous church didn’t welcome them and refused to shake hands with them during the sharing of the peace( and they had the cheek to say they were Christians!) sorry that just made me cross. I help the lady sitting by me to find her place in the hymn book and service sheet and take her up to the altar with me for communion as she is scared to go on her own.

I also help prepare church for Sunday service on a Friday and am on the rota for reading the lesson. I enjoy them all. I work 1.5 days a week paid work so have something going on most days

Pittcity Fri 31-Jan-20 16:52:45

I've just started volunteering in a charity shop and I love it. I get to meet all sorts of people and help a good cause too. I don't feel it is too much of a commitment as the shop can run without me.

Curlywhirly Fri 31-Jan-20 16:54:13

I volunteer for a morning, one day a week, in a charity shop; really enjoy it and it doesn't impinge on my free time as it's only a morning. Also, it appeals to my bargain hunting instincts - I've bought some really lovely things since I've been there!

GrannyGravy13 Fri 31-Jan-20 17:02:02

Mr.Gravy and I have volunteered most of our lives. Unfortunately we are now committed to GC duties so that takes priority.

Moocow Fri 31-Jan-20 17:10:53

Volunteered for 30 years. Had enough.

cornergran Fri 31-Jan-20 17:45:36

We lived in a town where volunteering was the norm. I enjoyed volunteering alongside part time work, it was all interesting and included advocacy, adult literacy, children’s groups and 1:1 support. I learned something from all of them and made some good friends. I also spent some years working as a (paid) Volunteer Coordinator and experienced volunteering from an organisational perspective. We have moved to an area where there are fewer opportunities. I did a few years with a children’s group until family circumstances changed and family needs clashed with the opening hours of the group. I’m trying to dip my toes back in but am struggling to find something that fits with physical limitations and has flexibility. I’ll persevere with the search as I miss being part of an organisation and the stimulation.

Maggiemaybe Fri 31-Jan-20 17:46:04

All I do at the moment is a bit of litter picking when the group meets, and I'm on the committee of our local history group, if that counts. At home I knit for our premature baby units and assemble jigsaws for a local jigsaw festival, which raises money for local charities.

Helping with the grandsons takes priority for us at the moment though and we also like to make time for ourselves now that we're retired. I was planning to volunteer literacy support in primary schools when we're not needed so much, but we have another grandson on the way, so I'm not sure when that will be!

Sar53 Fri 31-Jan-20 18:14:16

I volunteered with the Samaritans for about 4 years until I moved from Kent to Essex. I met some lovely people and hope that I made a difference.
I now volunteer one morning a week at our local hospital. I work behind the scenes helping out with admin. Doing this has really opened my eyes to the problems in the NHS.

NanKate Fri 31-Jan-20 19:50:49

As I am not able to go onto our WI Committee due to family commitments, I volunteer for various jobs no one else has picked up. EG I have set up at a local Primary School The Box Project providing sanitary items for girls from impoverished families. Now the Government is taking over we will stand back if this transpires.

I have run 2 fund-raisers with a Beetle Drive and handbag and Scarf sale.

It takes time, energy and help from friends and DH.

emmasnan Fri 31-Jan-20 20:08:39

I volunteer on a helpline working from home. I can do it at times to suit me, so works well. I hope I help people and make their day easier.

Greenfinch Fri 31-Jan-20 20:37:19

When my children were young I did a lot of volunteering(Samaritans and Feed the Children) but now I have far more family commitments to daughter and grandchildren.I would love to work in a charity shop but cannot make a regular commitment.That was the good thing with Feed the Children.It was a local charity and you could go to the depot at any time to help with the packing.Unfortunately it has now had to close down as it became too expensive to send goods abroad.

KatyK Fri 31-Jan-20 21:09:08

After I retired, I volunteered at an infants' school helping 6 and 7 year olds with their reading. It was delightful. I got to help out on school trips so got to go to theatres, adventure parks etc. I also got to watch school plays and concerts. I only gave up as it was a bit of a distance away and I don't drive. DH could no longer take me so I gave it up. I may do something again.

ExperiencedNotOld Fri 31-Jan-20 21:34:36

Volunteering doesn’t just have to be for a charity. Be active in your community, help out at the village jumble, give your time to chat at the coffee morning, help someone to the library, think of others. Just as important.

Coolgran65 Fri 31-Jan-20 22:10:20

I'm one of four moderators on a world wide on line Discussion Board attached to a Charity that supports sufferers of a chronic and incurable medical condition. The Charity also provides Research Grants into the cause of the disease.
I became an on line member as a sufferer, 20 years ago. After about 8 years I was approached and asked if I'd be willing to train and become a Moderator. Being a Moderator involves registering new applicants, answering questions, keeping an eye on the posts to ensure everyone abides by the rules. provide honest factual information There are over 8,000 members registered. It takes about an hour of my time each day, the time to suit myself. The moderators work well together, some can afford more time than others but we're expected to do about 7 - 8 hours per week. Going on holiday the others just cover.
We work from our home and strive to help other sufferers and families cope as well as possible.

Calendargirl Fri 31-Jan-20 22:14:22


Totally agree with your post, just how I feel.

Pittcity Sat 01-Feb-20 09:22:30

The shop I volunteer in doesn't demand regular commitment. There is a rota for future weeks and you add your name where suits you. I think that volunteering shouldn't be pressured but an enjoyable part of your life.

craftergran Sat 01-Feb-20 09:40:41

I have done varied voluntary work over the years but none in the last 6 or 7 years.
I just don't have the time to commit regularly and most that I have been involved with, want regular commitment. ie a set day.
I may dip my toes in again in the future.

janeainsworth Sat 01-Feb-20 09:51:46

I worked full-time for many years and during that time did a lot of largely unpaid work on various professional committees, for the benefit of colleagues and the communities we worked in.

Now that I’m retired I value my time and love the freedom to spend it as I wish, whether it’s visiting my far-flung DC and their families, working in my garden, walking, cycling or playing tennis, having time together with MrA, or meeting my friends. I’d hate to be stuck inside a shop or doing admin work when I could be doing any of the above.

I much prefer to donate money to the charities I support, than work for them.
I realise I’m lucky to have that choice.