Project Volunteer

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 🎉🎉🎉


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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



9 Comments Add yours

  1. Leith says:


    With my unavoidable teacher hat on I am already intrigued as to what you have planned for the kids’ schooling once you up and go. You may already have it clearly in mind to do IGCSEs by distance and such via a formal online learning platform or something BUT I teach high school English and humanities subjects and my husband Andrew teaches maths and science (physics specialist). We have taught grade 6-12, IGCSE IB MYP and DP. If you want a hand with any of that side of things, even from here in Thailand, let me know :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leith you are an absolute sweetheart! We are planning on distance learning/homeschooling once we set off and would love any assistance along the way. Sebastian is at the point where he’ll be picking GCSE subjects as soon as he has a school place here in England and Aiden will be at that stage next year. All 3 love English, maths and the sciences! Hoping we’ll get to see yourself and the fam when we eventually get to Thailand x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Leith says:

        Brilliant. Making it to Thailand would be an epic accomplishment on top of everything else! Please come and stay. We currently work at a school that has a really big focus on service and I am keen to follow your progress with my classes this and especially next year. You could come and share your experiences and join some of our school projects perhaps…We definitely have it in mind to do something similar, though probably not as ambitious, with our fam when the kids a bit older so will be following your steps very closely :). And with the school stuff, later once you are moving, seriously do keep us in mind. Perhaps your young peeps could join in on some of the tasks we do with our classes…who knows.


      2. Yes, yes, yes to all of the above! Would love to visit and share our experiences and think having our 3 take part in some of your class’ activities is a fantastic idea! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement 😘


  2. Lesley de Villiers says:

    Well done for being determined to win through and pursue your dreams to volunteer and help out. There are few people out there who are willing and able to help out in spite of the odds. Your blog makes really interesting reading and I can’t wait for the next exciting instalment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lesley says:

    Hi Karen, Warren and the kids. Love reading your blog and as we knew you here in Portugal I’m reading it with a South African accent!! We wish you loads of luck on your adventure. You probably have already but I’ve just had a quick look on and there are a number of awnings for sale within a 100 miles of you and they are not toooo expensive and I’m sure with your wonderful story and charm and good looks! You will be able to barter. Take a look anyway. Have fun at the xmas party and good luck. Lesley and Ian xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lesley,
      Thanks so much for your kind words and for your help with the awning! It’s been quite an adjustment settling back into life in the UK but luckily for us we are sited in an area of St.Albans surrounded by lots of farms and open space…not quite Tábua…but we can’t complain. Sending lots of love to yourself and Ian and please do keep in touch.
      Beijinhos xxx


  4. Melanie says:

    Hi gang – lots of churches offer shelter and food for homeless people over the winter – I used to volunteer at one in Camden cooking fry ups for breakfast. Was really fantastic. Early mornings cooking and eating – sharing stories. Rewarding and accessible. Just an idea… xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mel! Will look into that…sending beeeg beijinhos xxx


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