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Opening times: Monday - Tuesday 9am - 4pm, Friday 9am - 1.30pm, Closed Wednesday and Thursday


Many of our Volunteers were members of our Get Together Groups.

Our aim has always been to get our members who have so many skills to train and become Volunteers at the Groups. This has been very successful and has proved to many of our Older Members that they have the skills and care to take on the Volunteer Role.

Marjorie is an example of this. She as a member saw how Volunteers were improving the lives of so many Isolated and Lonely People and agreed to train to become a Volunteer. Marjorie embraced all the training and enjoyed her role as a Volunteer she has gone on now to run our Harp House Get Together Group. This is the first one we have opened in a residential home and with Marjorie making it such a success we are now looking to open in more Residential Homes.


Lorraine Ridley explains her reasons for helping those who are on hard times in Barking and Dagenham and has play a big part in advertising and collecting clothes and food donations from our local caring community of residents and supermarkets for families and single homeless staying in Barking and Dagenham Hostels..

I have lived in Barking and Dagenham all my life and worked for the borough for 18 years in children’s services. I took early retirement due to ill health and wanted to give something back to the community and keep my mind active. By volunteering for Barking and Dagenham volunteer centre, I could help out in my own time and on my terms.

I have always supported the homeless hostels for a few years donating toiletries, food and clothes so this seemed like a natural succession. An opportunity arose to coordinate donations. I got great satisfaction doing this and meet some really nice people along the way.


Jon Gildersleeve joined the volunteer centre in 2014 after spending many years as a volunteer and youth development officer in youth and senior football.

Jon has a strong desire to help others to fill there potential in volunteering and to guide them through their journey of getting pleasure and life skills out of voluntary work.

Best practice is key to enjoying volunteering and Jon has shared his wealth of knowledge over 20 years with both young people and adults.

One of his roles is to keep Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Facebook, Twitter and Website up todate and interesting for everyone with great support from Donna Dee and Sarj Singh on a daily basis.

Jon was instrumental in setting up partnership working with Barking and Dagenham Homeless Hostels and Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Soup Kitchen for Homeless and Street Homeless.

My Journey so far


Julie Wedge writes below about why she decided to volunteer and how her life has changed for the good and a dream come true because she DIDN'T STOP BELIEVING.

Making a posy of flowers for Queen Elizabeth 11 when she came to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

What Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau have done for me.

Approx 8 years ago I went through a rough time with my mental health and self esteem, was a really difficult period to go through and was very easy to stay away from the world. Realising that things could not possibly stay the same I turned to looking into volunteering. There was no way that I was able to do this in person but after a friend suggested that I could do some behind the scenes work with and for him, I was able to comment and welcome the growing members to the BDVB facebook page.

Through this my confidence of chatting and getting to know the many great volunteers and followers of the BDVB, I have gone on to do many great things within the BDVB and the wider community. I was introduced to Rooff Ltd over in the Ice House Quarter and then to Carole Pluckrose whom is the artistic director of the Boathouse Creative Studios in Abbey Road.

I have grown inside as a person and learnt so many skills that has enabled me to start a floristry business and be part of the events team at the Boathouse Creative Studios.

So in-brief just by one person showing a little kindness and encouragement you can make a difference within the area you feel comfortable.

Julie Wedge


As Volunteer Co-ordinater I have had the pleasure of working with people who really want to give time to helping others

When people come to me asking how to get involved with volunteering they sometimes are not sure what they really want to do but after finding out more about them and explaining what we have to offer it is a great feeling for me when they walk out with a smile and feeling excited about starting a volunteer role

Also working with other groups within the borough is great as we find we can help each other

Volunteering is not just for the young we have placed people who have retired and feel staying at home everyday is not want they want and keeping active is going to help them

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in your community please email me on JEBRANDON30@OUTLOOK.COM so I can make arrangements to meet with you and let you know what we have on offer


Joan Brandon Chief Executive Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau gives thanks to our volunteers and encourages others to get involved

As it is National Volunteers Week I have been thinking what is a Volunteer. Most of us don't realise that we all at sometime have been helped by Volunteers.

How many of you have had friends, neighbours, family baby sit for you, get shopping, drive you somewhere, help you with your garden, take your children to school when you are unwell.

These are some of the tasks we at sometime have all needed help with and I am sure you can all think of more ways people have helped you.

This is informal VOLUNTEERING.

Please take time to thank them this week as a way of recognising they gave up their time quite happily.

There are also thousands of Volunteers giving up regular hours each week in Barking and Dagenham helping Community Groups, Community Groups, in Schools, Hospitals, Cleaning up our Parks and Streets, Helping in Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Youth Clubs, Older Peoples Groups to name just a few. The list is endless. Try to think who has helped me or my family by Volunteering.

Perhaps this week is a good time to sit and think I have an hour to spare what can I offer as,a Volunteer.

We are waiting to hear from you.

Volunteers from BDSWA receiving their certificates during National Volunteer Week 2018 from Joan Brandon and Lynne Hopkins (BDVB)

Community crafting group organiser Kim French with volunteers from her Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Get Together Group

More Volunteering Awards given to Lisa Ann, Nicky & Christine celebrating volunteer week.


To all Volunteers in Barking & Dagenham this certificate is awarded to you as part of Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau Celebration of National Volunteers Week 2020.

You are appreciated all year round for your commitment, dedication and support.

Please download this certificate, filling in your name in recognition towards volunteering here in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre has volunteers from all walks of life.

Some have shared there stories which you can read clicking on the link below.

It takes all sorts to make a community and understanding to help other's.

We are proud to announce we won't be able to do the things we do with out our lovely, kind and lovely volunteers.


Joan Brandon Chief Executive Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau wanted to tell you all how she feels about your efforts that are making the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham a better place for everyone.


Joan explains further.

This has been a different Volunteers Week this year due to Coronvirus. We decided to use Social Media to Celebrate the Care and Devotion of all those Volunteers in Barking and Dagenham.

I came into the Sector in 1978 and 40 years later I am still here. It is such a rewarding Sector and I am honoured to be a part of it.

It is difficult especially to have the funding to do the projects that are so badly needed.

Local Councils have suffered continual cuts so cannot offer the financial support they would like to. We are lucky that so many people care and want to Volunteer so that those services can continue.

We have no paid workers at the Volunteer Bureau but still manage to increase our services.

The rewards are enormous and the people you meet whether as Volunteers or Clients are fantastic.

Even in times like this every day people are coming forward to offer to Volunteer. Knowing that over 100 telephone Befriending calls are made each day by our Volunteers is a wonderful feeling. Volunteers are working 7 days a week 52 weeks a year without asking for any rewards.

They see the rewards for themselves in the improvements they make to others.

Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks to all our Volunteers and accept that you are all exceptional People.


The true Partnership of all those involved in the work of the Volunteer Bureau makes it succeed.

I would like to express my Thanks to Lynne and Kelly who working from home have been busy making sure all our Members have been contacted and any needs they have covered,

Thanks to Jon who has kept our Social Media up to date and spent many hours preparing and posing all the National Volunteer Week Posts.

I have been Shielding throughout the Lockdown due to having an operation and needing District Nurses. Special thanks to those District Nurses who have come in everyday to me. They are fantastic. Luckily I was able to work from home .

This has certainly shown me how resourceful our residents are and how through Volunteering how Caring and Thoughtful they are.



National Volunteer Week 1-7 June 2020

We are unable to organise any events for Volunteers Week due to Lockdown. I would like to take this opportunity to say a Big Thank You to all our Volunteers who over this last year have given hours and hours of their time so willingly to make a difference to so many residents in Barking and Dagenham. It is Amazing how do many of you show how you Care in many ways. This year has seen a much greater need for Volunteers due to this terrible Virus . From day one of the Virus we were overwhelmed with people contacting us to Volunteer in any way that would help.This proved to us how Caring the residents of Barking and Dagenham are and how they Care for their Community. We have Volunteers making over 100 telephone befriending calls a day to lonely ,isolated Residents plus many other Volunteers getting shopping etc for residents who are shielding. We have passed on many Volunteers to the Local Council Hub. Volunteering is a really rewarding way of using any spare time you have. Please contact us if you want more information. On behalf of all of our Volunteer Family please accept our Heartfelt Thanks and on Thursday Night go out at 8.00pm and also clap all the Volunteers across the country who are also giving their time and love to help others.

Joan Brandon.

Councillor Leader Darren Rodwell gives thanks to you our volunteers here in London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Without the support of thousands of residents like you who volunteer in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham who give up there time for others this letter is for you to download and print off as a sign of appreciation and a personal thank you from Mayor Councillor Cllr Peter Chand issued during National Volunteer Week 2020..

Click here for the letter

Kelly wanted to share her story about knowing what she wanted to do and saw volunteering as the pathway to get her the experience needed to fore fill her dream of working with older people that maybe lonely, isolated and vulnerable here in Barking and Dagenham plus has seen her take on extra responsibility whilst working for Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau.

I have been volunteering for many years now I started off doing admin work in the office filing/tying answering phone calls etc then moved onto helping out at the Get Together clubs with the elderly which I absolutely love. I talk with them play bingo & other games with them & help to do there lunches making teas & washing & drying up after. I find it very rewarding & enjoyable. I am also currently helping with the DBS Service that we offer which involves general data updates, helping employees of our registered organisations to fill out there forms checking ID & making sure they have the current documents for the form to be completed & then I send them off to be processed with the DBS Service.

Kelly Price

Denise wanted to share her story about knowing what she wanted to do when she left school and saw volunteering as the pathway to get her the experience to apply and successfully appointed to her ideal job.

I began volunteering when I was 15 years old with special needs children at a youth club in barking and Dagenham. I then went on to become a volunteer swim teacher again for those with special needs. After doing this for three years, I decided to apply for a job within a special school. Through the experience I gained from years of volunteering, I got the job and 7 years later I am still loving the job.






Get Together Group Volunteer Peter Hawes tells his story.

I first joined the Volunteer Bureau in 2002 when I did two weeks’ work experience with them whilst in Sixth Form.

I then went back in 2004 when I was at college and became a permanent volunteer there. As a volunteer I carried out basic office duties including filing and greeting visitors plus making the tea.

This was a great help as it got me out the house, meeting people and also gave me a position in life. Greater still, I was invited to perform on the keyboard at the Christmas Party that they laid on for senior citizens and this gave me an opportunity to express myself musically plus entertain others and meet new people. I went on to do this three years running and 2006 met my very good friend Kathy Mason who had connections with the Volunteer Bureau and invited to entertain students on the keyboard on Friday afternoons at the City Learning Centre a small annex building next to Robert Clack School. This gave me more great opportunities to perform and I was only too pleased to be asked.

Volunteering with the Volunteer Bureau helped me over all with my social confidence and gave me a place to go each week where I could interact with people.

It also lead to me going to places I’d never been before as in 2006, the late Tom Grandy who ran the Young Persons Project took me and a few others to the Tower of London and then the London Aquarium, both of which were great days out.

Volunteering at the Volunteer Bureau also lead to me meeting my best friend Aarron Fitzsimmonds in 2008 as he volunteered for a neighbouring organisation called Dial and we both went on to perform together with me playing the keyboard and Aarron singing at various get together parties for the senior citizens over the next few years.

Since joining the Volunteer Bureau as a permanent volunteer more than a decade ago, I’ve gone on to volunteer for a number of organisations including Sense International, Sue Ryder, Robert Jeyes Library, the Park Rangers, Dagenham Growing Communities and Shop Mobility. This has greatly helped boost my social confidence, my self esteem and also helped me with getting a job – I now work part time at Home Bargains in Beckton.

I would very much love to continue volunteering as it continues to be a great pastime and also a great way of making new friends and ensuring that I feel I have a position in life.

Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Bureau Chief Executive Joan Brandon wanted to pay tribute to someone who will always be remembered for their kindness towards other's and always gave best advice.

Please read until the end about a wonderful person that I too call my friend.

Joan explains.

I would like to mention one special Volunteer in Barking and Dagenham. I first met him over 20 years ago when he was Volunteering in Projects working with Residents who had Various Disabilities. He tackled any form of Volunteering needed then went on to train and be an Excellent Advice Worker. This be did for many years. Volunteering is all about Caring about People and this led him to want to do more if he could. He decided that becoming a Local Councillor was the definite role to let him achieve and improve lives. He became a Councillor for Barking and Dagenham still Volunteering in the Community Sector as well. The Care and Skills he brought to his role of a Local Councillor have led him gain the respect of his fellow Councillors and he is now the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council. He is a strong supporter of the Community and Voluntary Sector . The reason I am highlighting him is to show that it does not matter what you do in your working life once a Volunteer you will alway carry on Volunteering. Who am I talking about .

Councillor Darren Rodwell