Mutual Aid Groups Proving to be Indispensable to Local Communities
Having seen this first-hand by signing-up to my local Mutual Aid group in Merton, the importance of community voluntary groups has really had an impact on how we now function within our local areas. What is really bizarre, is that I actually feel rather close to my local mutual aid group, despite the fact that I've only met a couple of the people in the group (giving out tomato plants and masses of rosemary cuttings).
This has been emphasised by a government report Communities vs Coronavirus: The Rise of Mutual Aid, which also highlighted that the local concentration of people being able to help has proved far more effective than other, larger schemes such as the Royal Voluntary Service's Good Samaritans. I for one feel like I've had more of an impact with local schemes, such as working with Merton Mutual Aid and AgeUK Merton as there is more clarity as to what is expected of you - and I feel largely disconnected from the Good Samaritans because there is scant interaction. The human interaction and (where required) training is readily available with localised organisations, and it feels like the larger, government-led organisations haven't been able to scale in the way that they wanted to. What I also love is that Mutual Aid groups tend to create a community within a community and they tend to be made up of really nice people.
You can read more about Mutual Aid groups and the government report HERE
Volunteer Market Set to Explode
As a trained marketeer who is currently focussing on voluntary work, this fact is one that has been embedded within my psyche for at least the last four months. I initially entered the volunteer market because I had the time for it, have always enjoyed doing it and I wanted to be able to add value during lockdown instead of spending my time watching The O.C. and doing ironing. It's made me realise that actually, I'm up for a sector change and the voluntary work is a really great way to gain experience within the charity sector whilst adding value to an organisation that really needs it. Furloughed.Life is another business in the same vein as Furlonteer that matches people with opportunities to volunteer with organisations while on furlough.
With the rise of unemployment and the need to for people to essentially repurpose their skillset, voluntary work is a really good opportunity to gain skills in other areas and sectors if you can afford to do it. Even if you can only do a couple of hours a week, you can be helping yourself and someone else who needs it.
You can read more about it HERE
Selfless Sheffield Siblings Donate their Salaries to Charity
This is a lovely story about two brothers, 17-year-old Callum Maxted and his 19-year-old brother Kieran, who each donated a month's salary to Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care – SCCCC – an organistion which helps older people from multiple faiths across the city.
They have been volunteering in their spare time for the last two years, but wanted to give back something more - so they donated their salaries. Also, they have both recognised the benefits that volunteering gives them in relation to gaining new exposure to different types of work experience. I mentioned it in the above article, but I cannot emphasise enough the value that voluntary work gives to your CV, as well as your experience of the world and how other people live within it.
You can read more about the brothers HERE