A day in the life of a collection box volunteer

Our green collection boxes are a familiar site in shops, pubs and hotels and provide a vital source of income for our charity while also raising awareness of our work.

We have a network of thousands of boxes across the region and we’re always on the lookout for people to help service these boxes in their local area.

The role of a collection boxes volunteer is very flexible and can be carried out at a time that suits you.

Whether you volunteer three hours per month or expand to half a day per week, any time that you can devote to emptying our collection boxes is greatly appreciated.

To give you an idea of what the role entails, here’s a breakdown of what a typical day can look like:

Collection boxes list

You will be provided with a list of businesses and retailers that require their boxes to be serviced. These locations will be in the area that you have agreed to cover, and you don’t need to do them in a particular order, just whatever suits you.

Planning your route

After assessing the locations you need to visit, you can plan your route. You can use any mode of transport but we recommend using a car for larger geographical areas. In the past we’ve had volunteers use a bike but be aware that coins are very heavy, so you need to make sure you’re able to collect and transport the money with ease.

Visiting supporters

Every time you visit a location that has a collection box you need to be polite and friendly to the people who work there. Often they have requested for their collection box to be serviced, so they will be expecting you. To reassure them you are a genuine GNAAS volunteer you will be provided with a uniform and an ID badge which you can show them before emptying their box.

The reasons for businesses displaying a collection box can vary from just wanting to support a charity to personally knowing someone who required the help of our critical care team.

Please be mindful of this when emptying the boxes and make sure to thank them for their support.

Emptying the boxes

The contents of boxes are usually coins, but you may also get notes in them. You will have been provided with cash bags to pour the money into and they will have a sticky seal at the top so you can easily seal them up and prevent any coins spilling out of the bag.

Receipt for the collection box money

In addition to collecting the money, you will need to provide a receipt to acknowledge that you have collected the money. You will be given a receipt book to fill in, which includes writing down the name and address of the place where you have collected the money, the source of the money, and also getting a signature from the person you have collected the money from. The first copy of the receipt is handed to your contact at the location, the second copy is stored inside the cash bag that you have just filled with the contents of the collection box, and the third copy remains in the receipt book.

Lunch break

The hours of this role are very flexible so please make sure you take rests where you need to. Depending on how many collection boxes you need to service, you should factor in one or more breaks. Some of our collection box volunteers have previously visited local cafes while doing their routes, either for a quick coffee or tea, or a spot of lunch.

Finding new locations for collection boxes

As well as servicing collection boxes, you will also have the opportunity to seek out new locations to display a collection box. Using your local knowledge of the area and the current list of collection box locations, you will be able to identify potential businesses and groups you can approach about having a collection box.

Dropping off the money

After visiting all of the locations on your list, it’s time to drop off the money. You can arrange a convenient date and time to drop off the money with a member of staff from GNAAS who will hand it to our finance team.

The money will then be counted, and each location you have visited will be informed of how much has been raised from their collection box.

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