The benefits of Personal Volunteering, a story from Deptford Reach

Linz Darlington | 30 October 14

To gain a different experience than the group days I’ve been on before, I recently decided to spend the day volunteering on my own at Deptford Reach, a drop in centre for adults over 16 who are vulnerable through homelessness, social exclusion and severe poverty.

The opportunity to work right on the frontline was an eye opening experience for me. I worked in the kitchen; preparing food, serving breakfast and lunch and managed to fit in some cleaning too. It was an amazing day, although hard work and it has been several years since I left the hospitality industry so am a little out of practice!

The work they do at Deptford Reach is so valuable and the regular staff and volunteers were all really friendly making me feel part of the team and it easy to get stuck in.

I do really enjoy the group days that we do, but personal volunteering gives you a chance to get really involved. The staff and the volunteers at the centre provide such a vital service for guests and were so friendly and happy to share their stories of the support provided by the centre. I wish there were more places like it.

I can’t wait to go back, apparently this time I will be in charge of the shower list!

If you’re keen to try something new I’d really recommend supporting the community directly on the frontline of services in London. Use one of your four volunteering days any weekday at Deptford Reach. Through Benefacto you can also book other volunteering opportunities from employment clinics to outdoor spaces and older people’s clubs.

Linz Darlington was inspired to start Benefacto when he worked as a management consultant for Accenture. With three paid days off a year to spend volunteering, he had a tough time choosing a local charity where his skills could make a real impact. These days he spends his life matching talented professionals with amazing charities. Contact Linz via

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