Tag Archives: volunteering

Daily View 2×2: 27 April 2020

I hope that you’ve all had a nice weekend, although I guess that, for some of you, each day is beginning to feel the same as the last. At Liberal Democrat Voice, our aim is to entertain, inform and engage, and so I’d better get on, hadn’t I?

2 big stories

Whilst the talk is of what happens next in the UK’s battle against Covid-19, elsewhere, the first steps towards normalisation have started;

In all four places officials caution that life is not going back to normal yet. For one thing, there can be no letting down their guard. The authorities have

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Daily View 2×2: 8 April 2020

The Prime Minister is still in hospital, and ill enough to put Dominic Raab in charge. It’s all vaguely unsettling, not helped by a series of statements saying that he’ll be alright “because he’s a fighter”. I’m not sure that his ability to fight isn’t rather less important than the ability of the medical staff treating him…

2 big stories

Is it now becoming clear that the government’s initial strategy was simply wrong? If the concept of herd immunity drove its response in the early stages, who was behind that? And have the promises of a ramped up testing regime been exposed …

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Can volunteering be safe currently?


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The homeless and the needy have been victims of the current crisis. Many rely on volunteers to feed them and provide warm clothing, tents etc.

But volunteers are often over 70 years old or constrained by safety measures related to the Coronavirus.

For about eight years, I have worked voluntarily at a local drop-in centre for the homeless and needy. Our normal service involves 20-45 people thronged into a small hall, cheek by jowl. So, we had to stop that. Fortunately we are continuing our service by giving out bags of ready-to-eat food. But we’re having to get the clients to queue outside two metres apart, place the bags on a table by the door and retire, liberally wash hands and disinfect surfaces.

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Being a PPC: building your team

Following last week’s blog on managing my work/life balance as a PPC, I’m writing this week on building a team in a constituency.

I have some expertise in working with volunteers – in the past, I chaired the Parent Teacher Association at my child’s secondary school. Leading a group of volunteers, who each had different amounts of time to give and various reasons for giving that time, was a challenge. Nothing like playground politics among parents!

A team in a local party can be similar – everyone is a volunteer, some with masses of time to give, others with very little time. All are motivated, but have a range of issues behind that motivation. Inspiring your volunteers is a balance between accepting what time they can offer and not asking too much, and learning more about them and why they would like to be involved.

In many constituencies, we run skills audits, finding out what talents people have to offer to pair with what jobs need to be done. I think it is really important to ask what people want to do. It could be they are highly skilled in one area, but that is their day job, and what they really want to do as a volunteer is something different. Having those discussions is important. Allowing people to give time on their terms and in the way they wish is key.

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Vince’s Christmas Message 2017

In his Christmas message this year, Vince is asking you to support a charity that works with the homeless near to you. Watch the video to find out more.

 

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LibLink: Norman Lamb: Volunteers play a key role in the health care system

Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red Cross

Norman Lamb has been writing for the Eastern Daily Press about the importance of volunteering. He looks at the sorts of things people can do and the difference it makes. He sees spending time with others as a very important part of keeping people healthy.

Last Friday I set off from my constituency office in North Walsham to visit an elderly lady I met through a local volunteering scheme. My job is to take her books from the

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Carmichael in Cameroon for two weeks of volunteering

AlistairCarmichaelLiberal Democrat Chief Whip swaps lurking in the shadows of Westminster for two weeks in Cameroon today.

As I write he’s in Terminal One at Heathrow waiting to catch a flight to Brussels and will land in the African country, which lies between Nigeria to the north, Equatorial Guinea to the South and the Central African Republic to the east.

Alistair is not heading to Cameroon for a holiday. He will be part of a VSO project, working for the Aide Legale Liberale, an organisation which aims to provide free legal representation for …

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How to manage volunteers? Look at the Games Makers

I have just returned to my duties at Lib Dem Voice after spending an extraordinary two weeks as a volunteer Games Maker at the Paralympics. My final event was the Athletes Parade today when we were thanked over and over again by Coe, Cameron, and Johnson, and by athletes and members of the public.  I have never felt so appreciated in my life!

So how did LOCOG persuade me and 70,000 other people to travel to London from all over the country on six separate occasions for training and collecting uniforms, then to stay for anything between eight and thirty days with friends, in hotels or at campsites in London, all the time working exhaustingly long days (in my case starting work at 5.45am), and all at our own expense?

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Opinion: keeping up the Mo-mentum

Many of us watched with pride as Mo Farah won his two Gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, encapsulating the spirit that swept most of the country over two golden weeks, re-invigorating our nation, and this week saw the beautiful Paralympics opening ceremony. Mo and the Paralympians show what a civilised and diverse country we are. London 2012 has shown that this nation is great because it is open, modern, quirky, successful and brilliant, a country ready to embrace the challenges of a changed world head on.

Recently, Conservative minister Damian Green said he wants Tories to pass the ‘Danny …

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Time Banking: A simple route to community spirit?

Ever since my unsuccessful council by-election campaign in November I’ve had a burning desire to ask more positive questions of the electorate in the run-up to my next council election in May. What kind of volunteering might you be interested in getting involved in? What kind of skills do you have that you might like to pass on to others in the community? What interests and hobbies might you like to share with your neighbours? I had notions of gathering this data together and then signposting voters to voluntary groups or suggesting they get together with others who share their …

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Opinion: What do the Lib Dems and the Big Society have in common?

Being a student, I am lucky enough to have very flexible working hours, and I’ve put these to good use this autumn helping with Brian Paddick’s campaign to become the first Lib Dem Mayor of London.

Something I’ve noticed with creeping inevitability about the campaign is the similarities between myself and the other people turning up on Fridays – the vast majority of whom are male and pale like me.

This is symptomatic of a wider problem with volunteer organisations in general, and cuts to the heart of a political philosophical gulf between us and the tories: volunteers are people in a position to volunteer.

While conservatives were perfectly at …

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