Friday, 22 August 2014

WRVS, you are about to lose a very hard working volunteer

The local WRVS  (or the RVS as it is now known since men were admitted),  amongst other things run a very much appreciated cafe at the Ulverston Health Centre, at which this volunteer has been helping for three months now. I know her well because I see her regularly and often go over to the cafe for a drink and a chat. Many people in Ulverston, often pensioners living on their own do the  same to enjoy a drink and a tea cake at low prices, made all the more enjoyable by the friendly helpers.The volunteers there are a lovely group of people and she gets on well together there.

This volunteer has in  fact she  put herself out to help out  and does extra shifts when they are short staffed there, in spite of having a heavy work load at home. She enjoys the work.

The problem is that Head office in London is run by bureaucratic bullies who insist on their mindless procedures are followed.  A woman there, by the name of Fiona insists that the two referees for membership ring her to give approval of my friends application for membership. This they tried to do, Head office insist they keep trying.

At this point my friend is rightly digging her heals in . "No if you want me as a volunteer - and she knows the Ulverston branch is short - you will have to ring them". They are doing you the favour of supporting my application for membership. It's great to see someone sticking up for her colleagues. They are fed up with being bossed about by the bullies above them who come along with 'inspections' when knowing very little of local circumstances.

Now we have someone who is ready to make a stand. "You give me membership . I have complied with your rules of providing with two references. Now take it or leave it. "

"Do you , Fiona at head office with your mindless rules really want to lose a much needed volunteer who has the strong support of those that work with her?

Note: if you go enquiring at the similar WRVS run cafe at Furness General Hospital in Barrow you will hear of similar heavy handed complaints about the way the bosses outside the area attempt to supervise them from away.

Do we, the public, really want to donate to this charity?

 if this money goes to pay for incompetent people who boss others about. I suggest we make sure our donations go to support our local groups and not to an organisation that allows power crazy people to dominate. Furthermore our local managers must be encouraged to stand up to this bullying behaviour.

Surely now is the time for local people in this kind of organisation to assert themselves.


Gavin said...

The problem is that these charities are not run by volunteers, they're run by salaried, corporate suits who attempt to run them just as they would a FTSE 100 company.

On the plus side, Fiona will probably not be there long as she will move on to another corporate gig. Unfortunately, she'll be replaced by an equally high-paid, equally clueless suit with no real understanding of the WRVS at "grassroots" level.

Geoff Dellow said...

Thanks Gavin, I suspect you're right. The thing is for our local groups not to to feel intimidated and assert themselves:refusing to comply with senseless uninformed edicts. We will all benefit from a groundswell of calm none-compliance until the bosses get the message that they are not going to be allowed to push others around. It's happening at our local Cancer Research shop and now the Parents at Mill Dam Park are demanding respect from SLDC , chief executive Lawrence Conway, see separate story today.

Gladys said...

Over the last eighteen months I have often been served with good coffee and snacks at FGH by the wonderful volunteers at WVS , and occasionally at Ulverston WVS. Their hard work and helpfulness has been much appreciated, by myself and also my late husband, during acutely stressful hospital visits. I cannot praise them enough. Their goodwill in spite of bossy folk from on high (as mentioned in Geoff's post) does them credit indeed.
Why is it that 'professionals' (that is, those who get paid) in a number of institutions, have to be so 'high handed' and unappreciative of those who volunteer in the service ot their communities? Power enjoyment? Fear of losing their jobs? Have to look as if they are doing something?

Geoff Dellow said...

It's good to hear that far from being buckled my central authority, this volunteer is carrying on as though central office doesn't exist and is now trying to recruit others to help with the work of the local WRVS.

Isn't it great that there are some people won't put up wth idiotic bossy powermad people. I think there may be signs of a fight back.