So we are now 7 weeks into our adventure and it’s been a seriously steep learning curve with daily overwhelming highs and a fair share of ‘character strengthening’ lows.
A lot has happened in the last 12 days…The awning is still standing-held up by a wing and a prayer. I’ve managed to turn 3m cubed of possessions into 4 small book boxes of photos, kids art and sentimentals which we are hoping to store in a friends loft-cue offers….We’ve had to move the caravan (still towbar-less) which involved Warren steering and managing the handbrake while the boys and I pushed..and I finally shared the blog with friends and family and am completely overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received.
Now that we are semi-settled I thought it would be a good idea to get us started on our volunteer projects here in the U.K. and I am really disheartened to say that out of the 6 charities I have contacted only 1 has replied and said someone would be in touch-that was 3 weeks ago. It is incredible the amount of hoops you need to jump through in an attempt to offer voluntary support. I understand that in this day and age everyone needs to have police clearance, a long list of contactable references etc. etc. but one volunteer position required me to have all of the above, be able to volunteer for a min of 4hrs per week, commit to volunteer for no less than 1 year and then it went on to say that I could expect a reply in approximately 3 months?! I have contacted youth centres, charities helping the aged, animal welfare to name but a few…but it seems that unless you are able to contribute financially no one is really interested.
My limited experience of the attitude towards volunteering in the U.K. is in stark contrast to what it is in the rest of Europe. I signed up to the workaway programme about 3 months ago and in those 3 months our family has been invited to stay and volunteer in a number of different places throughout Europe and Asia- 2 in Germany, 1 in Poland, 1 in Amsterdam and 1 in Thailand. These are people who have read my profile and asked if we would consider volunteering without me actively looking.
So now I am putting it out there…if anyone knows of any projects that could use a hand (or 5 sets of them) please do get in touch. As I mentioned before we are based in St.Albans and during the week we would be able to help in and around the area but school holidays and half-terms free us up to help further afield. We are also up for taking part in fun runs or similar events to support different causes.
There you have it, for the most part, we are all still here, mostly of sound mind, adapting to the new normal that is caravan life and making progress on our project. I have just received word that we have been accepted as volunteers at a retirement home and will be helping with the Christmas party on the 15th of December 🎉🎉🎉
So until next time….
Oh! We ain’t got a barrel of money,
Maybe we’re ragged and funny,
But we’re travelling along,
Singin our song, side by side
Harry M Woods