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Ticking our Boxes


Ticking Our Boxes

Volunteering is now officially “good”, but why? This short documentary was created by and features volunteers, who together examine all aspects of volunteering in the UK today. Why do people do it? What do they get out of it? What’s great? What’s loathsome? What do young people think about vetting and CRB checks? Why are some people not allowed to volunteer in the UK? From up-front interviews to personal stories and expert evidence, this is an investigative film made by volunteers who have questioned, probed and challenged a whole host of issues surrounding Britain’s new “culture of volunteering”.

Related topics: Civil Liberties

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Daniel said:

I really can’t understand why volunteering is not allowed for asylum seekers. The government is telling us that these people are a huge burden on our resources and now I find out that they don’t even allow asylum seekers to do something productive with their time.

I think there is far too much regulation in most aspects of our lives these days and there is a worrying increase in the invasion of privacy from our government. Freedom seems to be subtlely being eroded.

Community worker said:

Good little film, touches on the issues that really show how volunteering is changing to fit too many boxes for confusing reasons we don’t dare challenge.

Ruje said:

We should have young volunteer entreprenour of the year awards nationally to show what it is young disadvantaged and excluded people can do . Of course we need to protect the vulnerable, but when vetting becomes a barrier itself, it defeats the object and hampers our inate creativity . Well done on your portrayal. A fab challenge to the system . CRBs, risk assessments, funders stats etc easily become controlling and life confining instead of enhancing . We do need to get the balance right . The passion and positive energy of these young volunteers changes a nation .

Carla said:

Surely in today’s climate we cannot be too careful when it comes to checks and procedures. I wouldn’t want my children learning to play football or being taught cookery classes from some stranger who hadn’t been through formal checking procedures

Donald said:

I am youth worker and after watching this film i realised that i want to stop the silly amount of monitoring and interference in young volunteers lives. It was a relief and a breath of fresh air. I feel like i am doing something wrong if i don’t use so many forms and that is ridiculous, although i suspect there are many like me, and i read on this website that this is true, that just don’t do it in the day to day work. But this project also allows us to say we aren’t goign along with it, shame most of feel we have to hide our identity just in case.

Rachel said:

I am a volunteer in a small charity and i help other volunteers. we got a small bit of money to help our volunteers and found that we had to set up so many procedures that the money goes to that rather than growing what we can offer to volunteers and what they can do for the charity. There seems to be more freedom when we had no money which is ridiculous especially as these policies and procedures hasn’t had an impact on volunteers except that it is a bit more formal. Getting expenses for volunteers really really helps, it’s really important but at the expense of what?

Vik said:

I agree with a lot of what the TOB volunteers are saying and remember meeting one of you at a conference last year. I am stuck to know what to do about it as i would like to do it more informally, less paperwork etc but i have to tick others boxes which in turn means i have to get volunteers to tick mine! It’s self perpetuating but real.

Karen said:

I work for a large charity which depends on volunteers to deliver many of its services as well as shape its development. We are increasingly obliged, both in- and externally, to gather all sorts of personal information and carry out numerous checks on potential volunteers to meet funders’ requirements, adhere to increasingly constraining legislation and ‘cover our backs’ in case something negative happens. I have great faith in the human spirit and desire to make a difference and I don’t think that it will put people off helping…they’ll just avoid doing it through formal organisations which need to shackle their involvement. I worry that this will create a two teir approach to getting involved, which, rather than ensuring that volunteering contributes to community cohension, as the government wishes, will foster further division.

Kerry said:

I am from France and now volunteering in London. To become a volunteer is a very good idea. In France politicians don’t support the organisations that are working with the poorer communities, but it is these organisations that do a lot for people who need it and often it is volunteers who make this happen. To become a volunteer it is best to do this because you want help people, not for you C.V. I am a volunteer basketball coach in Paris and my only pay is the people’s smile ( i feel me proud and happy), nothing more, the real reason to volunteer is not for yourself but to help the community!!