I've been volunteering with Barnardos for 2 and a half years and feel unappreciated. A typical day at work has me sent to the shop floor to man the till, when i ask if there is something else i can help with i am usually met with: "not just now" leaving me to stand at the till from start to finish. To cure my boredom i rearange the shop displays and tidy the clothes rails, leaving some areas untidy to save some excitement for the next day.
The management in my shop could be better, sales assistants are made to do all of the same work or more as the manager but for longer hours and get little free time or holidays. There is an abundance of tea and smoke breaks meaning i often need to leave the shop by the rear exit for advice on customer queries, leaving the shop unsupervised. Shop supplies are often scarce and it could take weeks for staff to order what we need. Potential volunteers are sometimes made to wait long periods of time before their applications are processed. When they are, it is often the existing volunteers that give most of the training.
2 sales assistants have been and gone in the time that i have been there, both left due to the hours they were doing as opposed to what they were contracted (around 35-40 instead of 21) On the plus side, there have been improvements in management lately due to internal complaints.
My co-workers are all lovely. We have had a few bad eggs in the past but, when confronted on their behaviour, decided to leave promptly. We all lo
ConsUnreliable hours, unpleasant conditions, no room for job advancement
No support, culture of intimidation and useless management
Manager treated me with passive-aggressiveness, borderline abusive texts in and out of work, bullying, and contributed to an uncomfortable work environment. Constant corporatisation of what should be a charitable effort? Pushed for targets to sell overpriced rubbish from the out of touch New Goods team. Training for the basics was all but comprehensive. Expected to take abuse off colleagues who are aware of pre-existing conditions through "Wellbeing Action Plans" that meant nothing, as there were never any changes in attitudes, behaviours or meaningful adjustments to accommodate any condition you have.
Near constant gaslighting, double standards, and being put in overly-stressful situations where I was expected to do a million and one things with little-to-no help, in stores across the region. Manager admitted she only took the job as her position as a Store Associate had been taken away by the company, after her own experiences with abusive managers which never got properly resolved. You would not be mistaken in getting the feeling that these managers have NO soft skills, NO idea how to manage and lead a team, and NO idea how to treat those younger than them who are looking for support and guidance. Her training as a manager failed her, my team of volunteers, me, and anyone who could possibly come into contact with her in the workplace.
This is a truly thankless job filled with lazy, incompetent managers. if you are under 25 you will receive no respect or support. Area Ma
ProsFeeling that there's a 0.0001% chance that you're making a difference for those in need, amazing team of volunteers
ConsThankless job, abusive, bullying management, felt more like a business than a charity, no respect for younger employees and VERY palpable disconnect between top and bottom of organisation
Arriving early to set up the shop, go and check the sell buy date and either reduce price's or put in a recycle bag. Make sure there was no hazzard's, the floor was clean. Then go to the safe for the cash open the till and sign the beginning of the till roll. Unlock the door for the customers to come in. Keep putting out the items that are for sale, price them before you put them in a place where customers can see them. Then when other staff came in they would make you a cupy. If you were short staffed you just had to have it if and when you got a chance. If we had all the workers in you would be able to go to the back shop and put your feet up. There were a few ladies that prefered to serve at the till so you could go down stairs to do steam cleaning, empty the donation bags that had been handed in. The latest bags went to the end of the line. Then it would be lunch time before you knew it. It would depend on how was in first thing they would go to lunch. So that would mean there was always two people on the counter, one checked the price of the item or items the other would ring it up in the till and took the money and helper would wrap or fold the item into a plain carrier bag. Then after lunch you would do it all over again. People would bring in there donations into the shop and leave them at the till so we would get someone from downstairs to take them down stair to keep the floor clear, nothing for the customers to trip or fall over. Then its three in the afternoon,
ProsAll the staff are nice and friendly
ConsEmptying some of the bags can be awful. (that is why we have to wear gloves )
Some positives, many negatives and disappointing experience.
I worked for Barnardos for about 16 months and I have to first remind on the fact this is a Christian charity. This is an old school heavy administrative and bureaucratic organisation which is trying to keep up and trying to go beyond its ability to shout about children occasionally and fundraise. This is and was its mainstay role. The organisation has tried to compete for contracts and from my experience is ill equipped and resourced to do so. I never met such a ill constructed service and organisation with disconnect between services and HR and central office in Essex. My experience was one of a disguised contract which never said work would be remote working and the service was unable to work this way. IT and HR were ill equipped and organised for delivery of remote working and contract work. The contract itself was badly tendered for and the tender did not foresee all the costs and resources needed. Barnardos made half a million from the contract and the resources put In to the service were a fraction of this. In my time I experienced inflexibility in work of many employees to go beyond their very narrow specific role and an old school work structure Ill equipped for modern working and contracts. I experienced a bullying culture and appalling management which was more focussed on propaganda than facing the reality of a struggling service and staff where pressure was so high and morale so low with little reward. In 16 months of work the waiting list for children to avail o
ConsPoor management and over bureaucratic systems and overly administrative
At Barnardo's Charity as a Sales Assistant, I would arrive every day at 8:30am, prepare the shop for opening and uphold that store with volunteers, I used to get into some excellent conversations within this position, allowing myself to get to know volunteers well and enabling them to see me as an equal and not their boss, whilst undeniably I was their boss I would not like to be viewed as a boss in which they could not communicate their problems at.
I learnt many skills at this workplace, with till usage, stock taking, delivery management, health and safety guidelines, stock maintenance, volunteer training and leadership and many more minor skills which I will no doubt take on with future organisations.
Management was absolutely fantastic, I could not of liked my manager more, whilst my manager no doubt held up a tight ship, I was trained extremely well and got on with my manager since day one, we did have our odd heated discussions, however these were always creative and never hit a personal level. This created a happy workplace for the volunteers where they would feel welcome at all times.
My co-workers, were the volunteers. Hearing and learning of their personal stories and circumstance made me admire them even more for their dedication and service, I still maintain contact with several volunteers to this day.
Hardest part of the job work sometimes be the lack of volunteers, some days volunteers could not come in for various reasons, therefore I would uphold t
ProsExcellent Co-workers, overall great place to work
ConsShort commute in miles, however the roads going to this location are awefull resulting in a interesting commuting route.
Manage the day to day provision of Leeds Reach and provide leadership.
Work with other integrated multi-disciplinary teams, providing high performing support for young people and families.
What ive learnt
Assessing a young person correctly is key to providing worthwhile holistic support.
Maintaining networks within the industry is key to the above .
Providing statistics for the work completed (i.e. measuring both hard and soft outcomes) and the impact it has on the wider community as has on a whole is paramount for third sector funding and sustainability .
Monitoring the work and performance of team members is pararmount in order to make sure that their skills are in line with the needs of the young people i work with.
Making sure that the service is up to date with governement rhetoric and it is implemented correctly which also meets the needs of our partners i.e. schools and local authority.
It’s important to create a professional working culture that adapts to the needs of the service users. Where possible staff are managed at a macro level and have the agency to complete their duties proficiently, so that they feel empowered to provide the correct support for the young people.
Equally it is important that staff feel empowered to ask for help, information share and share good practice i.e. it’s not just up to the management to provide news ways of working with the young people.
GOOD TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS, ALL AGES FROM COLLEGE TO THE MORE MATURE PERSON
NO TWO DAYS ARE THE SAME. GAINED NEW FRIENDS AT WORK WHO NOW WORK AS A GOOD TEAM.EACH PERSON IS OF VALUE ,WHETHER THEY WORK ON THE TILL,STEAM,PRICE. THEY ARE A PART OF A TEAM.TAKE AWAY A SMALL PIECE AND MACHINE STILL WORKS BUT NOT AS EFFICIENTLY.EACH PERSON HAS SOMETHING TO GIVE TO THE SHOP.
SOME DAYS IT FEELS WORK LOAD IS HARD,BUT YOU MANAGE TO PULL THROUGH AND THE BENEFITS AT THE END OF THE DAY SHOW IN THE TILL.PREPARATION IS THE KEY IN THIS TYPE OF WORK.PLANNING FORWARD IS ESSENTIAL ANY UNFORSEEN THINGS CAN HAPPEN.VOLUNTEERS ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF CHARITY WORK BUT SOMETIMES DO NOT REALISE HOW MUCH.SOMETIMES NOT TURNING UP TO WORK OR CALLING TO SAY NOT IN.THIS CAN HAVE A KNOCK ON EFFECT TO SHOPS.THIS CAN CAUSE UPSET BETWEEN STAFF.SO I FIND THIS HARD AT TIMES.I HAVE GROUND RULES THAT ALL STAFF PAID/UNPAID FOLLOW.THIS GIVES BETTER WORKING AREA FOPR ALL.STAFF ENJOY BEEN INVOLVED IN HOW SHOP IS PROGRESSING.WHERE WE ARE IN LEADER BOARD.
I HAVE LEARNT NOT TO TAKE THINGS AT FACE VALUE.IF YOU WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING ASK THE QUESTIONS FACE TO FACE.DO NOT RELY ON HERESAY.
MY SHOP WAS HARD TO START OFF WITH.NO STRUCTURE. IT WAS LEFT TO ITS OWN DEVICES,WHICH DOWN THE LINE CAUSED ALOT OF PROBLEMS FOR ANYONE TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THE MUD.
I FEEL I HAVE ACHIEIVED A GREAT DEAL AT THIS SHOP.MAKING IT A SHOP THAT CUSTOMERS WANT TO SHOP
IN.CUSTOMERS SAID THAT PREVIOUSLY THE SHOP LOOKED MEESY,SMELLY,NOT OPEN AT CONSTANT TIMES.THEY WENT ELSEWHERE TO SHOP.NOW GOOD COMPLIMENTS ARE RECEIVED ON A
Prospaid staff gven expence when working at other shops.varied work.no time to be bored
My typical day at work would involve greeting the children on arrival, and getting breakfast for those who need it. I would be involved in planning through out the day, and set up activites for children to participate in. It was also important that their were different areas of the room for the children to play in, in order for them to explore and enjoy. I have learnt a lot through out my time at this nursery, partciularly how important it is too work as a team. I feel it is important to go into work with a positive attitude, as the children can sense it and it makes them enjoy their day more, knowing they're being cared for by cheerful practitioners.
I feel the management did everything they could to help each employee as individuals. Supervisions were carried out every 4 weeks so everyone was able to speak about things they were worried about, or something they were partciularly happy about.
As soon as I started at this job I felt welcomed straight away and felt as though I was part of the team immediately. It has been enjoyable to work with everyone in the team and there has never been a day I havnt looked foward to going to work.
The hardest part of my job is sometimes dealing with situations where you feel a child may be in danger, or being harmed, however as a practitioner it is my responsibility to stay strong for the child as they're the main priority.
The most enjoyable part of my job is knowing I am making a difference to vulnerable children's lives. Although
ProsMy co-workers, making a difference to vulnerable childrens lives.
Productive, excellent customer care with job satisfation.
As a volunteer I always arrive approximately one hour early so that I can put the till on, then check that everything is ready for the customers like clothes which have slipped off their hangers overnight or need putting in their proper place, If anything does need doing I set to and get it sorted. I train new members of staff in all aspects of shop floor work from general house keeping ,till work, merchandising, visual merchandising, gift aid,dealing with donations and decoding. I tell them of the importance of greeting customers and building up good customer relations. I have management support in how I deal with staff I always try to do my job well as it leaves my Manager to concentration other matters. Members of staff work well with me, and I have good teams to work with. the hardest part is getting them to talk to customers. Having customers leave pleased with their purchases and knowing I have given the best service I can with good sales results and surpassing sales targets is even better. I have learned it is not easy dealing with some customers and some members of staff you deal with little bit of though. I know there are thing which my Manager would like to do but has to go through higher Management to get the go ahead. I know that I have enough confidence and experience to do most things and only need training up on ordering stock and the computer side of and business side of things. Finally I would just like to add that I get a lot of satisfaction working for
ProsHelping vulnerable children, interacting with customers particularly elderly.
ConsNo air conditioning, large expenses should not be paid by individual shops.
Usually depending on shop size it is now only a manager and one other paid member of staff for 21hrs per week, this covers your two days off and a handover day. But you work 38hrs, only paid 35hrs (time to be taken back on handover day) and excludes the time to do the till and figure work required nightly plus the end of week figures on a Friday night which because system not linked to computer they have to be inputted manually. So you loose another minimum of 1hr 45 mins per week doing these.
As a charity shop it is really totally dependant on getting Volunteers so you can get breaks and lunch. Volunteers are hard to recruit and keep each branch have to do their own recruitment. You have no say when volunteers can take holidays, or just do not feel like coming in, therefore you can be left working alone. Worst period is over Xmas everyone disappears but the donations are heavy and build up with no one to work them, yet they still expect you to exceed sales budgets and Gift Aid targets.
On going training for personal development I was still waiting to see this happen most is done on their computer system. Forms for everything under the sun need to be filled out. Old fashioned tills and credit facilities mean manually inputting everything through computer system on Friday night. Fundraising is also part of your job through in-store events. Stock is the biggest headache even after getting it sorted as stockrooms usually are small and full.
On a plus note customers
Consconstrictions when you can take your holidays, lack of volunteers means you can be lone working while stock piles up.
Questions and answers about Barnardo's
What is the interview process like at Barnardo's?
Asked 15 Apr 2017
For a volunteer there is no interview. You fill in an application form and get invited to an induction which takes about two hours. This involves reading through and signing lots of paperwork and watching a short health and safety video. The interview process for a paid member of staff is quite different. You get invited to an interview. The questions are all predetermined and it's based on a scoring system, I believe. The questions are fairly standard "what would you do in this scenario" / "tell us about your previous retail experience" etc. etc.
Answered 9 Apr 2019
So easy I had a 5 min interview and got it straight away. Just be yourself. Don't stick to the rubbish u get told for interviews they want to no what sort of person you really are
Answered 28 Nov 2018
What should you wear to an interview at Barnardo's?
Asked 5 May 2017
Barnardo's has a dress code much like any other retail based job. For a volunteer position it doesn't make much difference. Only thing to be aware of is no open sandals and no jeans on the shop floor. If it's an interview for a paid position I would definitely recommend smart clothing. Black trousers and a blouse or something similar to that that.
Answered 9 Apr 2019
I went in jeans and t-shirt as it was July still got the position. Don't think the managers mind in the stores as they wear normal clothes
Answered 28 Nov 2018
How did you feel about telling people you worked at Barnardo's?
Asked 26 Apr 2017
Very unprofessional would not recommend
Answered 25 Mar 2019
Excellent company to work with. Been a volunteer for 1.5 years n they helped me so much. My confidence was at a low but my manager put me on the till n sat with me and trained me thru it. I'm now serving customers with a confidence I've not had for years. They are also training me up on the administrative side. All looks good on the cv
Answered 28 Nov 2018
How are the working hours at Barnardo's?
Asked 15 Apr 2017
Working hours depend on the position. For a manager it's 35 hours per week working 5 days from 9am to 5.30pm. Store associates are contracted to work 3 days a week from 9am to 5-30pm. Sometimes you will be expected to do overtime/cover other shops.
Answered 9 Apr 2019
I'm going to respond here as the previous responses are all in relation to volunteer work. Yes the hours are flexible if you apply for a volunteer position, but no, if it's a paid position the hours are not necessarily flexible unless you give plenty of notice and arrange your rosta ahead of time with the store manager. Finding cover at last minute is not easy. You are expected to be flexible and able to work overtime/ cover other stores if asked.
Answered 9 Apr 2019
How does someone get hired at Barnardo's? What are the steps along the way?
Asked 16 Apr 2017
Fill out an application form and then if you’re selected you get called in for an interview
Answered 16 May 2019
I personally went up to the counter and told them that I was looking at somewhere to volunteer for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award.