Friday, 18 February 2011

Thought for the Day: Free Babysitting?

Now, my regular readers know that I'm not usually a Moaning Minnie, at least not when I post.  At work I enjoy a good rant about the micro and macro failings of the NHS as much as any of their other one million or so employees.  But something has been getting my goat for a while now so I thought I'd get it off my ample-ish bosom.  Why is it always the same people at the school and the Scout group who are willing to lend a hand whereas others seem to treat activities run by volunteers as a free or ultra cheap babysitting services?  The maxim 'If you want something done, ask a busy person' seems to ring true. My friend, Sally, glamorous mother of three children whose just started her own business and is undergoing training for the Scout Association as a leader is a fine example

Now, I realise that there are some people who really can't spare time maybe because of health reasons or caring responsibilities but for some there seems to be no excuse.  I'm not talking here about  making a regular commitment to a charity or voluntary organisation just lending a hand when it's needed.

As food for thought I've done a back of the envelope calculation. According to Wiki.Answers there are 51,893,000 adults in the UK.  If each of them gave up an extra just one hour each year to support a cause, this equates to the working hours of over 30,000 full time employees!   A lot of good can be done with that amount of time and effort. Those of us who are able bodied and can spare over  two minutes per week  might like to do a little extra and compensate for those out there who really and truly are unable to make this contribution to wider society.

Yesterday,  I spent three hours helping out at the school disco after a long day at work.   Even though I was washing up for most of the time,  a job that I detest, surprisingly I  enjoyed myself thoroughly spending time with fun people who share the same philosophy and values.   In the interest of expanding my ad-hoc giving of time I've contacted the local volunteer bureau and asked them to notify me of one-off or irregular opportunities that might light my candle.  There are so many positives that can be gained from using time in this way that I'd urge everyone to think about it too!

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