Had to answer you with regards to Volunteer citizens, I have been a volunteer within the community sector for yes, going on 29/30 years, overall it has been brilliant and I have really enjoyed what I have been doing. I am however very concerned about how things could possibly go in the very near future.
I don’t want to use names, or even organisations, because things are not awfully clear at present, but local councils who are having to make mega cut backs, in employment of people in the front line, I hear that certain parts of this employment, will be going and volunteers could very well be put in the place of these employees, I think this could be a nightmare, as many volunteers who are brilliant and very approachable, may not be equipped to do many of the job requirements, not through fault of there own, but due to lack of real life training, also I feel that these volunteers will be cherry picked and only what suits local council, people who will bow to council and become yes people, if they are not yes people already.
Personally if government want to bring about the changes they are discussing, i.e less people on benefits, less people receiving D.L.A, if they bring in volunteers to cover certain employment, how are these people expected to live, as like myself volunteers are people who willingly give up there own time to help wherever and whenever they can, and a lot of volunteers are in receipt of, for instance, D.L.A or Incapacity Benefit, and using there voluntary work as a step on the really high ladder back into employment.
On the other side, the people who are in these types of employment presently, and have trained solely for this type of work, when they become unemployed, how are they going to pay there bills, especially when Government cut the benefits which, make no mistake, will seriously effect them too, are council going to be expecting them to come back as volunteers?
Laurence citizens who volunteer are an important role within the Community Sector, and over the many years of being a volunteer, we are in place to help shortages of staff, due to all sorts of reasons, or because of lack of funding but if I was involved in filling a place that previously was a paid job, and that employee who may have two or three kiddies had become redundant due to these cut backs, I seriously would have to re consider accepting that position, and I know other volunteers would feel exactly the same way, so although it is a way to save local councils and Governments money, it really would be very difficult and very seriously wrong, the whole idea needs to be thoroughly reviewed.
Thanks Laurence for taken the time to read this, and now I will step down from my soap box.