A sit-down with Joanne Patel

As the manager of Haringey Volunteer Centre and having worked for them for nearly three years now, Joanne Patel talks exclusively to Kudos about volunteering with the centre and the endless opportunities…

I only took over as the manager of the whole centre about 6 months ago, so this job is still pretty new to me.  What I love most about it is how varied the job is.  I end up doing a little bit of everything: giving advice to other charities about how to manage their volunteers, running training sessions, helping people to set up new roles and recruit volunteers, writing funding applications, promoting volunteering to the public, running events and outreach, and of course managing my lovely team of staff and volunteers.

The Volunteer Centre is here to promote and develop volunteering in Haringey.  We support local organisations who want to take on volunteers by giving them training and advice.  We also support people who want to volunteer by matching them up with organisations who need their help.

“It’s like a dating agency,
but less romantic!”


If people are thinking of volunteering they can visit the national volunteering website www.do-it.org.uk and see what is available in their local area.   For those people who prefer to speak to a real person, we can still do things the old fashioned way and book you in for an appointment at the centre, where we can talk to you about what you’d like to do and suggest some options.

We do get lots of online applications from students, especially during the summer months when they are on holiday from university.  If you want to add another string to your bow and get something interesting on your CV, volunteering is a brilliant way to go.  There was some national research done a few years ago, and 73% of leading employers said they would hire a candidate with volunteering experience over someone who has never volunteered.  You can’t argue with that, can you?

From an employer’s view, Joanne explains why you should volunteer…

“The benefits of volunteering can be huge.  You can learn new skills, understand more about a certain sector or career path, make useful contacts, get a reference, build up your confidence – the list goes on and on.  From my perspective, as someone who has recruited lots of paid staff over the years, when I see volunteering on someone’s CV it’s always a bonus – it tells me that they are probably self-motivated, resourceful, proactive, and most of all, a good person!

People often think of volunteering as something that you have to commit lots of time to over a long period, but the opposite can sometimes be true.  If you just want to dip your toe in the water, event volunteering can be a great place to start, as it can often be done as a one-off.  At the Volunteer Centre, we are often advertising for volunteers for all sorts of different community events”.

With volunteers week approaching in June, Joanne is preparing  for the busy week ahead, next month…

“As well as having a special lunch to say thank you to all the volunteers who help out here at the Volunteer Centre, we’re also organising a big Volunteers Fayre to promote volunteering to the public. It’s a chance for people to drop-in and find out more about volunteering opportunities in Haringey.  There will be stalls from 15 different local charities who are recruiting volunteers, so you can talk to them about their roles and decide what’s right for you, as well as chatting to the Volunteer Centre staff about hundreds of other opportunities. The possibilities are endless!”


To book an appointment to talk about volunteering options, call Errol on 020 8880 4047.




Volunteers signing up at the 2013 volunteers fayre 

Haringey's Mayor Opening the 2013 Volunteers Fayre

Haringey’s Mayor opening the 2013 volunteers fayre


If the answer was yes in the poll, call Errol to book an appointment and talk about volunteering options, on 020 8880 4047


 A map of the local volunteer centre’s within 10 miles of Enfield – created on Zee maps


For more information, check-out:



Christianna Andrews