BFS Director, Group Organiser, Samhuinn 2011 Summer King and long-time Beltaner, Zander, shares an insight into changing times and the usefulness of technology to busy volunteers (whatever they may or may not be wearing)…
It’s strange how modern living has influenced our work. We email rather than writing letters, online video conference calls are becoming more common, social media is now a recognised aspect of most companies.
It’s not that different when it comes to voluntary work. When I started joining community groups in my late teens we were still creating zines and newsletters that passed from hand to hand. Even when I started getting involved with Beltane Fire Society in the late 90s it was new and shiny to have digital pictures on a computer, people would ask IF you had an email address for a mailing list. How times have changed.
A case in point. Tuesday morning was my day off from my regular (paid) job. I opened the laptop where it lives on one side of the bed (its symbolism as a replacement husband is not lost on me, thank you). Checked the email@example.com (the one we use for our Secretary role) inbox, opened Facebook and noticed that my good friend Tanya, whom I role share with as both Secretary and Group Organiser for the Samhuinn Support Team, was online.
She was looking to submit our previous year’s financial records with the charity ombudsman, OSCR as we have to do each year. Since neither of us had done this before we chatted online about it, tried to make sense of figures, then make even less sense of the questions being asked. One of the other Trustees was online too, so I checked in with him. In the end we got the job done between us and it saved having to have a physical meeting about it or try to find a time when we could get together. All in all, it took around an hour.
Afterwards I realised something. We had been working on this, Tanya in her pyjamas at her home, myself still naked in bed before having had breakfast. It got me thinking about how much of my volunteering I do in bed. Checking the BFS Facebook page, emails, typing and distributing minutes for the GO meetings, just all the little things I do online tend to be early morning or very late at night, in bed.
Think about that next time you get an email from me, see a post on Facebook or even writing this blog. That mental image is yours to keep. Good luck getting rid of it. You’re welcome.