Posts Tagged: volunteering

Where are all the interesting volunteering roles?

As the New Year rolled in, I did my usual routine of trying to come up with some resolutions, only this year I was determined to think of some I might actually keep. I discarded the usual ‘eat less cake’ and ‘exercise more’ and looked instead towards ‘volunteer’.

Ditching extra insurance premiums for volunteer drivers was long overdue

There was a certain amount of backslapping this week when the Association of British Insurers announced that 54 insurance brands would no longer be charging extra premiums for people who use their cars for voluntary activities, such as taking people to hospital or on days out. The insurance companies presented it as an act of… Read more »

MP Chris Chope’s bill for volunteers shows how difficult reforms of CRB checks will be

Conservative MP Chris Chope has tabled a private member’s bill that he thinks will solve the problem of potential volunteers being deterred by the prospect of waiting for a criminal records check. The answer, he says, is simple: we should ask volunteers to sign a “fit and proper person certificate” saying they have no criminal… Read more »

Ditching a bad piece of law

In last week’s New Statesman, the magazine’s political editor, Mehdi Hasan, coined the ideal phrase for one of the least pleasant tendencies of the last government. He wrote that the former immigration minister Phil Woolas, stripped of his parliamentary seat after an electoral court found that he told race-related lies about his Lib Dem opponent,… Read more »

‘Compulsory volunteering’ should be embraced by the voluntary sector

Many volunteering charities will, no doubt, recoil in horror at the prospect of compulsory community-based voluntary work for unemployed people. The idea is part of the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s plan for welfare reform that will be announced in more detail this week. Under the plans, some jobseekers would be told to carry… Read more »

Corporates: charities want decorating with cash instead of paint

There was a very loud groan from a room full of fundraisers at a recent conference when they were asked whether any corporates had offered to paint some walls for them recently. They rolled their eyes as they grumbled that they didn’t have any walls left to paint, explaining that this was one of the… Read more »

Is volunteering too much hard work for charities?

Two weeks ago, at a round table hosted by the European Association of Philanthropy and Giving, I listened to a group of people working in the charity sector talking about the difficulties they faced using professional volunteers. You would think this would be easy – get in an accountant, an IT expert, a designer, and… Read more »

Should we be putting financial value on volunteering?

On Monday, the front page of the Guardian carried a story about a scheme being proposed in Windsor & Maidenhead where new volunteers get Nectar Points in exchange for carrying out good works: hold a tea party for pensioners, get money off at Argos. There seems some potential problems with this idea. First of all,… Read more »

Trick or treat in the big society

Like many people, I imagine, I spent lot of yesterday evening answering the door to children in a variety of hideous costumes squealing ‘”trick or treat?” Unlike in previous years, I had anticipated it and spent a fiver at the local shops on an assortment of tooth-rotting gunge to hand out as insurance against getting… Read more »

Volunteers were the heroes of the London tube strike: London Zoo could do better

I was very impressed by the work of volunteers during the tube strike in London yesterday. I set off on my morning commute expecting chaos. But at both Victoria and Earl’s Court stations, there were plenty of cheery, easy-to-find, orange vest-clad Transport for London volunteers advising travellers how to reach their destinations. I didn’t have to wait… Read more »