More frequently asked questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to talk to large groups? 
No. A party of visitors met by a greeter will not exceed 6 persons. The scheme is not a professional tour guide service and is not to take business from existing organisations in London.

Will it cost me anything? 
No. Everyone in the scheme is a volunteer working, in the main, in his or her town. Any other services or products offered, as part of the meeting will be provided by the Greeters organisation. The Greeters operate a no payment and no tipping policy. We will reimburse for public transport to and from the Greet.

Will I be expected to use my car to show people around? 
No. All meetings take place in public places and should the need to travel further a field occur, public transport must be used. Public transport costs will be reimbursed.

How do I claim my expenses? 
London Greeters will reimburse volunteers for travel to and from Greets and to and from any meetings, training or other commitments that are entailed in the role. We are looking into giving Greeters registered Oyster cards to use when volunteering so that a journey history can be printed off for reimbursement. Volunteers need to keep any Oyster top-up receipts and print off their journey history and then can claim back their travel expenses from their volunteer manager. 

Will I be insured? 
Yes. Provided volunteer’s work within the guidelines laid down by the London Greeters scheme all relevant insurances will be in place and no personal liability will be incurred.

How much time will I have to give? 
It’s up to you. Everyone is a volunteer and will only be expected to give time to the scheme when it is practical and suitable to do so. However, we would ask that Greeters are prepared to give two days a month. Time will also be needed for supervision, meetings and training.

Are volunteers required to speak a foreign language? 
No, but our visitors will come from all over the world. The Greeter policy is that all Visitors / Greeters will be matched to ensure that both parties have an enjoyable experience and therefore any foreign language ability would be an advantage. Special needs will be identified at the time of booking.

Will I get any training? 
Guidance will be given to ensure that the Greets follow a similar pattern however, we do not wish to suppress individual personal enthusiasm. During the induction day Greeters will undergo a basic overview on the effect of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on London. 

What happens after a Greet? 
The Greeter and the visitor will go their separate ways. The visitor will be emailed asking them to complete a customer feedback form. We hope this will give us information on how to improve the service.

Are there any other roles besides greeting people? 
Yes. Every well run organisation has backroom people and the greeters is no exception. As the movement grows many organisational staff will be required. We are keen to get more people involved in the set up of the scheme that have the time and organisation skills available.

Can I do more if I want to? 
Provided the demand for the service is there, a Greeter can work as much as they like, we only ask for a minimum of two days a month. We would welcome any discussions around other possible tasks that could be taken on in addition to Greeting.

Who administers the scheme? How is it funded? 
The London Greeters scheme is a non-profit making organisation. The scheme is managed by Greenwich Council working in partnership with the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Camden and the London Development Agency. Set up funding has been provided by the London Development Agency.

Where else do Greeters operate? 
There are now several Greeter schemes worldwide forming the Global Greeter Network. Log on to for more information.

I am currently receiving benefits, will volunteering affect this and should I let the Job Centre know? 
Volunteering should not affect Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit or Disability Living Allowance. Individuals in receipt of benefits are advised to inform their benefits office if they take up voluntary work but it is entirely up to the volunteer as to whether or not they choose to do this. We also recommend you inform London Greeters so we can give you some flexibility and provide information if your volunteering is questioned. 

If I volunteer here for long enough will I get a job? 
No. The London Greeter scheme is run by volunteers for the diversity of experience volunteers bring to the organisation, and believes that volunteers create an individual and dynamic service. We are a not-for-profit organisation and will continue to provide the service with volunteers.

Can I get a reference from you? 
Yes. We would be happy to give a reference for a volunteer.

What happens if I don’t get on with someone or things don’t work out? 
Volunteers are not contracted to the London Greeters scheme; the volunteer agreement is binding in honour only. We do ask that volunteers could commit to 12 months as a Greeter, however, we understand that circumstances can lead to volunteers having to leave.

What happens if my role changes? 
If it is thought a volunteer role will or needs to be changed, this will be discussed with the volunteers and staff and a decision made that encompasses all points of view. 

What happens if I need to have some time off? 
That’s fine. We understand that the time you give us is voluntary, but would appreciate as much advance warning as possible to make any necessary cover arrangements.