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Friday, 29 January 2016

When volunteer burn out culls many prospective strong sustainability initiatives!

This is not a blame game, although if irrational minds could turn to such activities when people set on each other. With support that Davius has put behind recent voluntary groups it was saddening to find a lot of initial links from only 12-18 months ago have all dissolved.

Why? People being ignorant? Far from it – the reason a lot of links amongst groups have dissolved is due to many voluntary entities have sadly dissolved after real efforts in the early days. For many – the local entities were set up by just one person, and over several years were maintained by people flying solo. They may have been cheered on by their community – yet trying to get support off the community with volunteer contribution being next to zero.

This is not an attack; rather a reflection with hundreds of thousands of families stretched to their limits the last ten years, very few can contribute towards local positive initiatives due to lack of time etc. So regrettably a lot of sustainability/community initiatives are set up by just one person. Invariably after a few years many good people across UK give up on their projects. This is a real tragedy as some of their projects could have really taken us in a new direction. No names – you can find out who they were in your own locale.

For group collaborations such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, AECB local groups, Transition Town groups, Community Food/growing Markets, Community Renewable, Housing Community Projects just to name a few – it is very hard to maintain core group structures as responsibilities have to be maintained upon collapsing numbers.

So how to improve this situation? How will make the sacrifice when so many in this era are so stretched already? What is the magical solution to improve so many voluntary or community entities?

Is there a magic administration software package that can stream line the process? With legal frameworks, constitutions, reminder prompts of meetings – or will this not work in the real world where we all have responsibilities, setbacks and unpredictable events that sway us.

The only thing we can all do is persist …. If you have a good idea for human innovation, community process and/or environmental regeneration – keep at it. You may have the saving grace that helps the whole country start moving.

However – a warning from the experienced ones from multiple voluntary initiatives …. A little power for just one entity within the voluntary group can break the natural progress and overall group dynamic.

You have been warned ….

All that said and done – on a positive …. What can you do?