British Heart Foundation "volunteer" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

British Heart Foundation Employee Reviews about "volunteer"

Updated Sep 10, 2019

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Found 169 reviews

3.9
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82%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
Pros
  • "Great office and colleagues who are all working hard to help the BHF achieve its long term strategy(in 17 reviews)

  • "friendly staff, nice environment, good location(in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • "Charity pay doesn't compete with private sector(in 27 reviews)

  • "Often left alone on shop floor as a new volunteer(in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "volunteer"

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Shocking Treatment and Unprofessional Outfit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Carlisle, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at British Heart Foundation full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Really really enjoyed meeting and getting to know a lot of volunteers and listening to their life stories. Enjoyed the chance to travel and cover another shop for a week and being put in a very nice hotel with a brilliant restaurant joined onto the hotel. Some generally very nice people in some management positions, unfortunately not all of them.

    Cons

    Having passed my probation the new area manager decided to not put the paperwork through properly, or admin decided to ignore and knock it back for no reason (performance was excellent, without myself and a few other staff members and volunteers the shop would have fell apart). To then later be falsely accused, not have a proper investigation done, judged, jury and executed in the matter of 20 minutes using... probation. (Even though I had passed my probation weeks earlier). To be sold out by a very green area manager who single handedly destroyed the shop and its pricing. To then also be told my health and safety work booklet had not been put in my file, although being told by another member of management it definitely was in my file as we had an audit and this would have been flagged in the report. To provide no evidence or details to follow through on ending probation, to refuse my manager to represent me in the meeting, to claim the meeting was probation review, even though it was questioning me so should have been a fact finding meeting. To feed false information to HR, so when I appeal the decision I am flat out lied too. To waste charity money on tipping loads and loads of furniture (bear in mind tip runs can cost £200-300 per van run, not including payment to van crew yet). To treat volunteers like slaves and forget they are not paid staff members. The worst admin and systems in a "professional" company. To be stabbed in the back after being the only one to take up extra days work to cover the shop, the only one who would volunteer to do extra work and things not in my contract and to try and go above and beyond for the store and the charity. Delivery charges are extortionate, some very poor and devious van crews. Some managers are on way too much money for a charity and do very little work compared to those under them. In general not following any type of procedure for anything. No 3 month probation review as stated in contract, no 6 month final probation meeting. On the 7th month finally had a probation meeting to be passed only to be shafted weeks after. Clear pattern exploiting the use/extending of probation to change your mind on a person when you like.

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    Advice to Management

    Remember its meant to be a charity, and dont lie to people. Dont falsify that someone didnt pass their probation when they did just so it suits you when you dislike them.

    British Heart Foundation2019-05-03
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Volunteer - Induction Nightmare"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Volunteer in Hamilton, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at British Heart Foundation part-time

    Pros

    Staff seem nice enough, however, one woman was very rude to the other new volunteer who had just started today and the other volunteers/paid staff seemed to not like her too much either.

    Cons

    I was given a booklet with the health and safety information then left alone in the staff break room for half an hour. I was basically following another volunteer around for 3 hours until they went home, I was not given any tasks and was barely taught anything. I simply had to wander around for 4 hours doing absolutely nothing at all.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to your new volunteers and have a set plan in place for when they come for their induction. I was literally walking in circles around the store for 4 hours, occasionally popping into the break room to sit for 10 minutes.

    British Heart Foundation2019-01-14

    British Heart Foundation Response

    January 24, 2019

    Hi Thank you for bring this to our attention . It is being sent to the appropriate teams to investigate further . I would be keen to continue this conversation if you could possibly contact me direct ? Please email me at vaadvice@bhf.org.uk Jo - Volunteering Team

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Your time isn't appreciated as a volunteer."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at British Heart Foundation part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    20% discount on stock. Made one friend. Learn retail skills. Really can't think of anything else, I disliked it there.

    Cons

    Very boring on shop floor - sometimes it was extremely quiet and there was nothing to do and staff give you looks because you're not doing anything despite the fact I'd tidied around many times and there was literally nothing to do and I wasn't given the opportunity to learn anything else other than shop floor stuff. Pushed to make extra sales - wasn't too big of a deal but a lot of pressure was put on you Extreme... lack of staff - many times I was on the shop floor alone as I was the only volunteer in on that day.

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    Advice to Management

    Be much nicer to volunteers since they're doing unpaid work in their spare time. One of the assistant managers I had was very intimidating. Always spoke down to me and others even though we had been helping out for months. And never once showed appreciation for my help when I was always alone working on the shop floor. I even came in to help on my birthday and the assistant manager knew but didn't even wish me a... happy birthday. Was so humiliated volunteering there. When I eventually left it was so awkward, I told the woman I was leaving and she said okay I'll take you off the list...... I wasn't really looking for attention but I wish I'd had a better send off or at least an acknowledgement of my work. The workplace really could have done with more friendly and caring staff.

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    British Heart Foundation2017-04-19
  4. "Benefits of volunteering at BHF homestore"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Volunteer Sales Assistant in Bury, North West England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at British Heart Foundation

    Pros

    I have worked in 2 home store/furniture and electrical stores, one in the south of England and one in the north west (where I am currently). I experience moderate mental health issues (anxiety and depression mainly) and would say the job has really helped me in the following ways:- Supportive and friendly and helpful managers, make me feel valued and looked after Meeting customers, staff and other volunteers... helped my confidence grow and took me out of my 'comfort zone' in a secure way. Enjoyment of the variety of work and very rewarding helping people and helping a charity Flexibility of working People like me there (!) and give me compliments about my work, this helps my self-esteem. It keeps me busy and positive. I look forward to going to work and being in a positive environment, with positive people. I am also looking forward to joining you all on the Christmas night out.

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    Cons

    More training for volunteers (especially those with additional needs or low self esteem) Mentorship/buddy provision for new volunteers by another experienced volunteer or paid staff member.

    Advice to Management

    could we have volunteer meetings on a monthly basis? Thank you Gillian, Emma, Kim, Carl, Felix and Naz (Bury store) for being good to me and the other volunteers, I always feel much better (stronger) when I come into work. You are very supportive, friendly and kind and you help me trust people again. I really appreciate the positive compliments, it helps a great deal with my confidence and you are great people... to have met and worked with. This is the best voluntary job I have had (I have worked in a number of charities and schools) and it is helping me a massive amount on my long road to recovery. I also enjoy helping other volunteers who are new or who need extra support, it is rewarding. Please give me a job one day?!

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    British Heart Foundation2016-12-08
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Part-time volunteer worker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Volunteer Helper in London, England

    I worked at British Heart Foundation for less than a year

    Pros

    Charity work, relaxed pace, good for experience

    Cons

    Limited range, it means that if you apply for jobs in the company, while volunteering, they reject you because they see it as you are already working for them

    British Heart Foundation2016-02-27
  6. Helpful (18)

    "Saddened"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Leeds, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at British Heart Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Never a dull moment! Keeps you fit

    Cons

    Overworked, underpaid, very stressful, not valued, diabolical health & safety, poor working conditions, no care for paid staff let alone volunteers who give time freely, trackers for everything, unrealistic targets to name a few! As a manager I am very outgoing, love new challenges and have a lot of drive, this company how ever have sucked every last ounce of passion out of me to the point they have finally broken... me and I am currently seeking new employment! The biggest problem is lack of measure in change. Don't get me wrong they are the best at what they do as a charity retailer on the high street, but what is shown to the public on the shop floors is far cry from what happens behind the scenes. Shops generally consist of a paid manager, assistant manager and paid assistant if you lucky, the rest of the team is made up of good hearted volunteers some of who work as though it is a full time job! The back working areas are horrendous, no space for storage and mounds of stock (if you're doing the job correctly) the environments are more than often dangerous. There is a huge problem when it comes to getting any form of repairs done, you are often told "that will cost too much money" so jobs are always bodged. Shops have to work with rats/fleas/un-safe equipment etc. When you try to communicate problems the area managers who are equally under as much pressure seem to live in fear of the regional managers so things often get swept under the carpet. When a visit is due from anyone higher up you are told to make sure everything is clear, totally unrealistic as for one it takes a good week to sort it out and two it does not allow the real daily working environment that we work in to be seen! Currently I am working with 9 different trackers! These generally are the brain wave of an area manager that is then shared amongst all the others. These trackers are repetitive in their nature. Then you have the conference call scenario, there is around 15 shop managers on one call, these take up so much time as you are always waiting for people to dial in who are late, then you can't hear a thing due to all the background noise and the area manager is constantly telling people to be quiet, these calls can last up to 40 minutes a time and some days you end up having 3. This is all detracts from being able to run your store and achieve targets of 250 hanging items to the shop floor each day. Whilst sitting on a call you see the donated stock flowing up the stairs and know your workload has just doubled. If it's a day where volunteers don't turn up and you are short staffed you don't stand a chance! Then you are made to feel incompetent when your stock hasn't hit the shop floor because you have been tied up in conference calls throughout the day. My store receives around 500 bags per week, which if you saw the size of the store you would understand, if you don't work that stock continually you have major problems. More recently the company have become suddenly OCD about health and safety, sending managers on risk assessment courses, great yes but all it's doing is passing the buck back down to the store manager if anything goes wrong, we were told we would be the ones who would serve time in prison if we don't keep on top of it all and accident occur, yet they refuse to spend money on improvements that are desperately needed! They take on cheap rents to be able to maximise their profits. Fundraising..... Where to start! The company has its own fundraising department who appear to have the easy job, as the small stores are expected to fundraise daily, targets often set at £50 per day, you are expected to turn it in to a "fun" challenge for your volunteers, believe me there is no fun in this at all, you have no choice but to send your best volunteer out to collect this money which then leaves you short handed in the store. Volunteers who are vulnerable and there are many in these stores are the preferred ones to go out collecting as they have the "pity factor" it's disgusting! However if you are like me and many other managers you more often then not end up putting your own money in the collection so you don't feel worthless when you have to report your figures on yet another conference call. Gift Aid, the company expects a minimum of 5 new sign ups per day and a 40% conversion rate each week on gift aid sales, the pressure from this leads to many managers fiddling the gift aid system i.e using donor id's from a person who hasn't actually donated any stock recently. This is a grave concern as this is illegal and an imprisonable offence by the HMRC, but this is what the company's expectations are doing to store managers. When you are honest and speak up about the pressure you are told that there are worst company's and bigger pressures that you could be working for and that maybe you are just not cut out for the job. There is no consistency with plans, organisation or communication. You are spoken to very rudely by certain departments when you have a problem. This company spend an awful lot of time sending out emails and surveys but never actually do anything about the results that have been given from them except to send out yet another glossy, colourful piece of laminated art work to place on the staff notice board that nobody ever reads as they simply don't have time. I really wish that more outside organisations would really start looking at these stores as I know they would serve notices and close them down, the danger is very worrying especially when you have vulnerable people volunteering for you. I have met Peter Hollins once during my 12 years in the company, he was a lovely gentleman, he did mention he was a little shocked at the conditions but then disappeared back to London, of course everything was spick and spam for the visit! There are no real incentives as such working here apart from a 25% discount on donated stock. Bonuses are now virtually impossible to make due to the recent restructuring of the bonus scheme. There are no health packages, child care vouchers or anything else, yet the regional support managers/ area managers/ regional managers all get health packages/ phones/ lap tops and cars. I dread to think how much all of this costs, there are so many wasted and needles roles in this company that could save hundreds of thousands of pounds that could go towards more research. It is very rare you see much bad press about them as things are kept quiet and they have an excellent legal team. They are very clever at getting rid of problems if a disgruntled person comes forward. This organisation needs investigating at a very deep level especially when it comes to wasting people's generous donations. Am I an angry employee? Absolutely! After 12 years of giving everything I have, I have now finally woke up to the sad reality that I have been a victim of nothing more than what can only be deemed as a cult! There is so much more than what I have written here, but I am so overwhelmed with it all I am aware I have vented too much. When I have gained a new position and got away from this place I fully intend to expose the whole lot to the national media and anyone who will listen with the evidence I have built. Good luck to any new potential employees, you have been warned.

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    Advice to Management

    To the guys at the top, get out in to these stores. Don't tell anyone you are coming because the word spreads down the line well in advance and problems are covered so you don't see them! I am deeply saddened that this company has turned me in to such a negative and unhappy person and I only hope you see this as every complaint gets stuck at a certain level.

    British Heart Foundation2016-02-17
  7. "Volunteer Campaigner, Customer service Advisor, Administrator and Merchandiser"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - NG1 in Nottingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at British Heart Foundation part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The work is very energetic, lively positive and friendly atmosphere with a very loyal supporters and members doing their utmost to give heart patients the chance to receive the very best of care by constantly donating and gift aiding their items they have donated to the bhf.

    Cons

    Hours are long and for some the pay will be capped and need to volunteer your services over the hours of your paid work. Some staff members have found this difficult to deal with and has lead to the charity having staffing problems.

    Advice to Management

    None to give.

    British Heart Foundation2015-08-24
Found 169 reviews