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Category Archives: Brighter Side

The Brighter Side of Life.

Two Birds, One Blog – Journey into Politics

I am a bit perturbed by the attitude of or current government. It is true, the area i come from has been predominantly Labour for quite some time now and growing up my personal political views may have been coloured by growing up in a not majorly but non-the-less Labour family. However, growing up, i did the normal childish things and ignored the back and forth and posturing of PMQ’s, rolling my eyes whenever my great gran or gran would change the channel from cartoons to a room full of boisterous and yelling old men. Leave it up to the old people and go harass the cat, that was the routine.

A decade and a bit later, i have come to my political awakening. What once was the realm of the older generation has been passed onto me. It’s been a slow start to be fair. Primarily setting up this blog to document my time on the Work Programme to let others know about how these companies run and how they treat their “Customers”, but in light of the events over the past couple of weeks, in relation to the Welfare Reform Bill, NHS Reform Bill and indeed, the Work Programme, it has become apparent that my little blog about how the WP is run is clearly a tiny part of a much bigger machine.

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The Benefits of Volunteering

“Volunteering? Uhm…Alex, you’re against the MWA and Workfare aren’t you? Why are you promoting Volunteering?”
Indeed, i am against the Mandatory Work Activity, Work Fare and the Work Programme to a point. However, i am not against good honest, community spirit inducing volunteering. And i’m also worried that, with people being placed on these activities through their providers and job centres, Volunteering will come to be seen as being associated with the Unemployed and, to use a buzz word, “Scroungers” paying back to the community what they take away in Taxes (we still pay VAT, so even the Unemployed aren’t exempt from some form of Taxation).

The way the MWA, WF and WP works, you get little say in the type of thing you’ll be doing, however, when you make your own conscious choice to volunteer in a place that interests you and makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something, then, my friends, i have nothing but praise and a sense that there is hope for humanity. Volunteering shouldn’t be seen as work, in my opinion. Volunteering should be seen as helping your local community, you’re providing a service, for free, using your own time and energy to ultimately make someone or a group of people’s lives better.

I’m scared Voluntary work will suffer greatly when the introduction of all the activities mentioned above takes place. Vital local and mostly charitable services, such as support for the disabled, local youth football teams or even just a friendly ear and a hot cup of coffee may have to face the stigma of having “perverse” single parents volunteering with them, or “feckless” benefit bums working with them, all because of the stigma attached to the WP. Services may have to be reduced and costs cut back even more as people may start thinking “Well, they’ll get the people on the dole to do it, i don’t need to”.

I know i may sound rather blaze and a bit hysterical, but i don’t want these services of good will and support to diminish and eventually disappear. If you’re interested in Volunteering, or if you’ve considered it but never really done anything about it, here’s a couple of websites with some more information.

VolunteerEngland

Third Sector

Groundwork

Do-It.Org – Voluntary vacancies around the UK

It’s pretty much widely known now that Volunteering does improve your CV and Employment prospects, however, would you rather doing something beneficial to you and your community at large, or would you rather work for your benefits?

There are benefits in Volunteering and they’re better than the ones you are given. Volunteer for your own gratification, not for your money.

A

 
 

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