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Volunteers needed at Pogo Café

volunteers | 21.05.2010 23:03 | Animal Liberation | Culture | Free Spaces

We are volunteers at a completely volunteer-run vegan café in Hackney called Pogo.

At the moment we are looking for volunteers to help in the café - whether doing shifts or fixing things.

We are volunteers at a completely volunteer-run vegan café in Hackney called Pogo.

At the moment we are looking for volunteers to help in the café - whether doing shifts or fixing things.

We would be happy to support volunteers with delicious food if you can volunteer for shifts and re-emberse any expenses if you can fix things for us.

If you can't volunteer - it would be great for you to pop in some time and meet some friendly people.

- Homepage:


Hide the following 13 comments

Related to earlier fuss?

22.05.2010 10:13

Now didn't we see not all that long ago postings here about a fuss at Pogo's? Not about what sort of food was served at Pogo's but whether volunteers there could have on premesis non vegan stuff? And didn't that result in a number of members leaving? (not necessarily because of a decision made as a group but because of an action taken by the vegan side)

Now at the time the posters assured us not a problem for Pogos, that there were plenty of other volunteers to replace those who left in a huff because their stuff was thrown out. But this posting seems to indicate the situation might be otherwise.

Folks voluntary organizations have to work by consensus. Can't "draft" the disgruntled minority. Compromise is messy but usually necessary when working with people and you lack the means for coersion.


Re : "Friendly people"...ha ha ha

22.05.2010 21:27

You are not friendly. The staff who walked out know just how unfriendly you can be which is why you are now having to advertise for volunteers.



23.05.2010 01:08

Pogo has always needed more volunteers, since it opened 6 years ago! Just because they've decided to post this doesn't mean things have changed drastically. While the post is obviously asking for more people to volunteer, it doesn't sound like things are going down the pan and they desperately need people. The Summer is always a difficult time as people re going away.

To the second person who commented - why don't you let people go there and decide for themselves whether or not the people there are friendly!?



23.05.2010 10:07

I agree with Sammy.


Support Pogo

23.05.2010 15:01

Like Sammy said, Pogo has always been in need of more volunteers, as it is summer, many people are wanting to travel and this means we have less who can volunteer.

I have no interest in getting into an arguement or debate with anyone on here. I would just ask people to actually come to the cafe and meet those who work there. Think for yourself and don't believe mindless gossip.

As a volunteer for pogo, you recieve 50% on all food and during shift you are entitled to a free meal, including drinks and cake! :)

So come to Pogo and check it out!

You can email pogo at:


Pogos Crisis

23.05.2010 22:13

is not volunteers it is financial - the books are a nightmare and the cafe is unlikely to survive more than few months


this is different

23.05.2010 22:30

i have been on the email list for volunteers at pogo for over two years now and still am. even though i only actually worked there for a few weeks, they still send me the rota at the beginning of every week.

since the drama there not so long ago, when some of the key workers were bullied out and outrageous/offensive comments made by those who remained, there has consistently been huge gaps in the rota where they lack volunteers to do shifts.

it is simply not true that this has always been the case. it is true that there's often been a week where one or two shifts weren't filled until the last minute, and often they were filled by the very same volunteers who got ousted recently, even though they had lives to lead and could have done with a break.

these days there are regularly huge gaps, sometimes entire days, with shifts unfilled when the list goes out. there messages have been gradually sound more and more desperate about this situation - and now they are putting out public call-outs for help on indymedia etc.


the list is long

24.05.2010 09:33

problems at pogo are many. its a long list. many people have been put off both going there as customers and/or volunteering there by the words and behaviour of the current crew in the last few months.

hygiene is appalling. i know of one group of diners who ate there recently and then spend a fortnight with food poisoning. every single member of that group suffered. they called pogo to let them know, not to attack but to give them a friendly tip-off, and were told that they could not have food poisoning it simply could not be. yet it is and there is no doubt that it came from the pogo kitchen.

they are not taking in enough money to survive. they do not have enough willing volunteers. they are no longer supported by many of the people who's support has kept them going all these years. they have alienated too many. it is terribly sad but i too doubt they will survive, and i worry for the neighbourhood what will replace them in that building.

animal rights is of course an important issue, but no single issue can isolated from the overall systems we live under, and being vegan is not the only thing that matters in this world.


I agree with Lia

25.05.2010 10:23

I'm not interested in getting into any kind of debate about this because as far as I'm concerned, whatever happened at Pogo is in the past.

I will say that one person called to say they had food poisoning (them as an individual, not as a group) Vegan food is very hard to get food poisoning from, especially when food is kept for one night only (if that) and most things are fresh,

With the stomach bug going around at the moment (that even people in the north where my parents live have) it's more likely that it's that that has made people ill.

What I really wanted to say is that:

1. There may be gaps in the rota when it's sent out. These gaps more often than not, get filled.
2. We have 17 people recently getting in touch to help out.
3. As the only person who even looks at the books, I am the only on qualified to make any kind of assesment on our financial situation, so it amuses me to see what other people think they know.

Our landlord recently tried to put the rent up by 70%. That was the only massive stress I've had lately. It's a lot of work, but Pogo is no more in trouble than it has been for the last couple of years!

Any further comments from people who are not involved and therefore have no idea what's going on are very welcome. Please, email them to us! I'm off to do some work.

Good day


Unfortunate comments

25.05.2010 16:37

I find it very unfortunate that people, who were not even present at large meeting, which resulted in the previous co-op members leaving, are using words such as 'bullied'. There were a lot of issues which had been brewing for quite some months, even years for a couple of people, concerning the way Pogo was being run. In the past, many members of the co-op had felt alienated and unappreciated by the others, and so left. The only difference is that they didn't make a huge song and dance about it.

I would also like to point out that when the previous co-op members walked out and left Pogo to close, it certainly wasn't in as good a state as it was made to seem. There were piles of debt and underlining issues which i won't be listing on indymedia. We have had to work damn hard to try to climb out of a hole which was never made by ourselves.

As far as i am concerned, Pogo is still here, and will continue to be here as long as it is supported. If you chose to childishly 'boycott' one of the few completely ethical places in this country, then it will be no more, and everyone will lose out.

If you are concerned about the quality of food or hygiene in the cafe, why not volunteer to chef or be a kitchen assistant, or come in to help with the cleaning on Mondays and Tuesdays?

We are not professionals or saints, and have never claimed to be. We are simply a group of people trying to promote vegan food and ethical living, spending the majority of our free time working for free.


Long live Pogo!

25.05.2010 18:29

If I lived in London I'd be down there like a shot. The new Co-op are much more friendly and Pogo is great now. The new Co-op seem to be getting things back to working order from some of the damage that was done previously, much respect to them.


get real

26.05.2010 10:31

yes its hard to get food poisoning from vegan food but it isn't impossible and it has happened. i would no more eat in that cafe than i would drink from the thames, the kitchen is disgusting (much like most of the food). you are all so busy pretending everything's ok and dissing anyone who says otherwise it would be funny if it wasn't so depressing. i do hope pogo survives, i hope you all gradually grow up and get wise, but meantimes i am one of the many who won't go near the place for too many reasons to list. as long as you keep attacking us instead of taking on board what we are saying then there will be gridlock and nothing will get sorted. perhaps there are enough customers from amongst the alf brigade to keep the place going without us, in which case do carry on. however if you want to keep/develop a broader customer base than the already converted worshippers you really have some thinking to do.


ALF crew hey?

30.05.2010 15:23

Well, if you were in Pogo more often you'd see that the customers-base is far more than just the "ALF crew" (whoever they are!)

If you think the hygeine is bad, like Lia said, come and help clean! Especially if you say that you hope that Pogo survives!

As far "I hope you grow up" - there are a lot of us putting in some hard work (those involved in the changeover and a lot who weren't - remember, not everyone working here now played a part in that) including doing the finances (which many people had no idea how to do previously - I personally have never even had a phone contract so it's been pretty educational for me!) and working out a lot of new routines to get into.

Noone got food poisoning from Pogo food - one person called to say that they personally were feeling ill, but none of the volunteers were ill from the food and we've had no other calls about food poisoning. The person who called seemed pretty happy having talked to one of our staff that it wasn't actually food poisoning that they had. As I said before, there was an illness, a stomach bug, going round at the time anyway.

I'm not going to continue arguing about this. If anyone has problems with Pogo, then that's fine, I can't change that, but can people stop talking about things they don't know about... or come in to see what Pogo's like themselves and not base their opinions on the exaggerations and opinions of others.