If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Volunteer accommodation charges

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by lynbarn, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    cat watching
    Location:
    Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Hi all, I wonder if the various members of different railways would like to make a comment on this.

    At the S&DJR we have been discussing the issue of volunteer accommodation and how much to charge volunteers per night. Should the railway pay for this or should the volunteers pay for it?

    If the volunteers pay for this what is a reasonable charge and what do they get in return for a nights fee at other railways?
     
  2. DJH

    DJH New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Graduate Engineer
    Location:
    London
    It can vary place to place and where volunteers are drawn from.

    From one where I'm involved it's partly subsidised by the railway and partly by the volunteers.

    Benefit is volunteers all based in the same place so you get to know everyone a lot better and a good social scene. Benefit for volunteers is if it's priced lower than equivalent B&Bs etc it helps bring down the cost for volunteers (who may already be paying quite a bit to travel there).

    Duncan
     
  3. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Haarlem, Holland
    The Talyllyn hostel over the way from Wharf station has two prices: volunteering 50% or more of stay is £3 per night and volunteering less than that is £10 per night. The facilities offers 12 beds arranged in 3 rooms, other than that it offers a small kitchen, 2 showers and Loo's, clothes washing facilities, a living room and a basic freeview television service.
     
    lil Bear likes this.
  4. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,224
    Likes Received:
    2,158
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That seems very fair. No decent person wants to freeload, but the cost of travel to the railway can be quite serious so subsidised accommodation takes some of the sting out of it. Hostels are great for socialising; much better than going back on your own to B&B. Mind you, I've found quite a few B&B proprietors have a soft spot for railways!
     
  5. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Germany
    "My" place has recently built new volunteer accommodation with two rooms for one person each, two rooms for two people each and two family rooms. Each rooms has a sink and there are three bathrooms with toilet and shower. The charge is £6 per person and night and there is a common room with cooking facilities.

    Christoph
     
  6. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I volunteer on two railways where the casual volunteer accommodation is priced at:
    Railway 1 - £2/night
    Railway 2 - FOC
    Both the above are on the basis that you are working on the railway in question whilst staying there. The charge levied by railway 1 is intended to go towards the cost of a paid cleaner who visits weekly though residents are supposed to keep the place clean & tidy.

    A lot will depend on the quality of the facilities which are offered.

    Economical overnight stays are becoming increasingly important with escalating travel costs and the apparent significant decrease in the number of active operational volunteers on many well established railways.
     
  7. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,153
    Likes Received:
    260
    Occupation:
    Signalman at Worcester Tunnel Junction.
    Location:
    Worcester
    I volunteer on two railways, one charges £3 per night (50% of your time volunteering though) and the other is £4 per night but drops to £3 per night after 20 nights stay or more. Not exactly extortionate and both offer reasonable facilities. You get what you pay for though.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,170
    Likes Received:
    6,436
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    In recent years I've enjoyed(?) the facilities of three railways, all of which have been free although contributions asked towards facilities at one. The accommodation have variously been a Mk3 sleeper, a shared bunk room and an individual, but basic, room. In all three it has been a requirement to provide your own bedclothes/pillows/sleeping bags. All OK for an odd night but not for longer and I would probably require better if I was being charged any more than a nominal amount.
     
  9. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    4,041
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'd be happy to pay up to £15 per night for somewhere decent that was kept clean and tidy professionally. My railway (WSR) offers free "accommodation" but it's dire. I use a local B&B and have negotiated a rate for the days I have to leave without breakfast. TBH I think that charging makes sense as it allows the employment of staff to keep the place up together and to monitor the accommodation. Now if we could persuade the buffet staff to open early for a (paid for) breakfast it would make the whole day far more enjoyable.
     
  10. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'm surprised that you describe the current WSR accommodation as dire - when compared to other railways and given that it is FOC it ranks fairly high.
    However the average non volunteer might be surprised at just what your average HR volunteer finds acceptable on many railways given the value of their input.
    The purpose built accom building at Minehead is clean, tidy and very adequate for a good nights kip. The Bishops Lydeard accom is in a GWR Camping coach which from the outside does not look much but inside is perfectly adequate. Both compare very favourably with other similar facilities on other railways but clearly are not up to B&B standard the provision of which would require a considerable charge (or subsidy). There is quite a range of what is acceptable both in terms of acceptable standards and the charges made.
     
  11. Islander

    Islander Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    230
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The IWSR hostel is a new build, a mix of one and two bed rooms with shower facilities, kitchen/dining room and a washing machine/drying room. There is no charge although there is a limit on the number of consecutive nights stay (14?) which is the result of a condition of the planning permission. Its well up to standard and frequently very busy.
     
  12. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    4,041
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You make my point exactly they are not up to the standard of a B&B, which is hardly luxury accommodation. That's why I'd happily pay for something that was up to the standard of a B&B with clean sheets and towels provided. But more importantly a facility that was properly managed and kept clean and tidy. I think this will be a key point going forward as the catchment area for volunteers will need to be bigger and even those coming to do single day stints on the railway may well want to come the night before or to stay the night and travel home the next day. Not to mention the rising cost of fuel leading to the opposite effect and volunteers looking to do multi day stints to keep the travel costs down.
     
  13. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,602
    Likes Received:
    1,577
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired.
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    An added expense for IOWSR volunteers who live on the mainland ( or north island as some call it ) is the high cost of crossing the Solent. The free accommodation helps to offset that expense.
     
  14. steamybrian

    steamybrian New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    South East England
    In the past I paid £5 per night as a working volunteer to stay in a beautifully converted clean corridor coach with my own single bed compartment for which I had to supply my own sleeping bag. Tea, coffee and milk was provided plus a selection of "donated" beer but further donations always welcome. Several compartments of the same coach are "leased" by regular working members who have excusive use of them. I will not name the "premier league" railway and the owner of the coach wishes to remain anonymous but it was north of the GW mainline between London and Bristol.
     

Share This Page