Sun 26 June 2016
Hillary writes ...
Our hospitality volunteers are crucial to the care that we are able to give to our guests. We think our volunteers are wonderful, and our guests love them too!
We have a team of hospitality volunteers for each event on our own programme. Members of a team come and stay (usually for between four and seven days), and work with Rhian and Hillary in the kitchen, providing three meals a day to guests. Each event is different; most recently the team catered for over 30 people on an R5 week with an Enneagram workshop, and last week guest numbers varied from 7 to 17. Drying the products of the dishwasher and table laying, veg prep, following a recipe and vacuuming up the crumbs in the dining room happen whatever the number of guests. Volunteers contribute socially when sharing meals with guests – sometimes this means steering conversations away from clergy shop talk onto safer (and much more interesting) topics.
Our volunteers come in all shapes, sizes and ages, from different backgrounds and with a wide range of skills. The most important asset is to want to be useful, and to be willing to take instructions. It’s helpful when people are averagely fit and active, as working in the kitchen involves being on your feet more than some are used to, and moving a pan of potatoes for 20 takes more muscles than a pan of spuds for two!
We hope that our guests feel that they have spent time sharing in the home of the community, and volunteers help engender this with unobtrusive behind the scenes care. We work hard to make sure special diets are sympathetically provided for, and to enable guests to receive what they need. For some that is space and quiet, for others it will be company and chat. Even though volunteers sometimes go home with tired feet, most say that they get far more out of being a volunteer than they put in. We say that what they put in is invaluable and irreplaceable.
We are keen to recruit more hospitality volunteers so if you are interested you can find more information on this page.