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I'd love to be a volunteer - but nobody will LET me!!!

Dear Scope.

I've been here with you lot before on this one, and with other sites, and with charity shops ad nauseam.....  There's 2 things involved - as I can rant all day about this, I'm keeping it short.  Firstly, referees.  I'm always asked for 2 referees.  Please believe me when I say this - I do NOT HAVE two passable people I could use for references. They do not exist in my life. They probably never have done. So when I get given the voluntary forms to fill out and tell the form-givers this, their eyes narrow, they hum and haw, take the forms back with those boxes unfilled and that's the last I ever hear from them.  I have been trying to volunteer for many years and the above problem's one of two insurmountable stumbling blocks.  

The second one seems to be - and I say 'seems' because I don't really understand this - the fact that I, myself, am classed as learning disabled. But with me it's on a technicality - I've got visio-spatial problems. When they give me I.Q. tests I do well on everything until maps, pictures, shapes enter the questions, then I die noisily. SANS those categories I'm 170, which I don't think is too bad. WITH those categories, I end up at 68 every time - those three categories slay me. So the 'me' on paper differs from the 'me' in reality and able-bodieds seem unable to get their heads around it.  

Thirdly - I'm a short, fat ugly bar steward.  The sheer AMOUNT of exception people take to that fact, which I cheerfully admit, is absolutely breathtaking.  I've been banned from places because people don't like looking at me. (I can prove that!) I get accused of things I can't believe, like I'm banned from Brighton Pier because I bumped into a woman by accident - I walk odd because of the disabilities - and she told one of the bouncers I'd touched her up on purpose. He turned up with all his friends and they told me to walk off the pier or they'd chuck me off bodily.  I don't even know who it was, the pier was very crowded. I'm living in Brighton because I was being beaten up/mugged/burgled so often where I used to live, I got moved out of the town - and that's followed me, I've just had all my Christmas money stolen by someone I could've sworn was a friend. I'll stop there or I'll hit rant mode!

Fourthly and finally - able-bodied people do not want disabled people as volunteers on an equal footing with them. They want to be the Benevolent Do-gooders we all give Adoring Smiles to, to bolster their egoes. Proof? When was the last time you saw a disabled person working in a charity shop? And if you can actually REMEMBER seeing one, it's because it's such a rare occurrence it's stuck in your memory. 

If you can think of a way for me to get past the 'I-do-NOT-have-two-referees' thing, I'll happily be a volunteer (as long as being one doesn't cost me any money - I don't see why I should have to PAY to help out!)

Yours respectfully



  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @ulrichburke
    How are you doing? I know you have mentioned this before and Im sorry to hear things arent any better for you right now.
    As I have mentioned before, we are always looking for community champions here on the online community and so if you want to find out more, then get in touch at [email protected]

    Senior online community officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,355Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2018
    Hello @ulrichburke   Please can I suggest come on this forum then as a community champion.

    Understand everything your saying. Been there done that got the T-shirt, the life story.  Around people, members and staff of certain organisations. Whose attitudes did nothing but hurt and harm.

    Also had a rethink you can still volunteer do not need references, do not need a lot to do. No tests or trials of tests. Can you do Maths and English.  All that stuff. Unnecessary.

    I started volunteering in the early eighties well even before more or  less left school. Now early fifties have found my calling here.  After all that time.

    The best is yet to come as one line of a song says.

    As community champion. Always need some one every day to help and guide new members.  Offer support, words of comfort help and be a friend something I love doing.

    Chat, talk to people. Help and offer solutions to their problems, issues. Couple hours a week.  I am here most early mornings, plus after that my choice as long as the time and met many amazing, fantastic people. All like ourselves.

    Many have become friends even message some privately that helps me why not you.

    You get additional wonderful  support from the staff.  Also aspects of the forum get a monthly newsletter plus recently sent us all standard responses on benefit enquiries so we can help out members easily to access the information quickly.

    Add to that been sent a loads of information on services, helplines and additional information.

     All you need is a sense of belonging, purpose.  This is it.  May I add one final point you can use all your talents, skills, life experience to the forum.

    I do every time I can. Especially my addiction history, my mental health knowledge and my disability.

    Remember my friend life is a journey as long if there are stones in the path do we stop or go over them or around.

    Never know what might happen.

    Always here anytime to chat you know that.

  • ulrichburkeulrichburke Posts: 18Member Connected
    Dear Spiceman et al.

    Would love to be a Community Champion if you tell me what to do.  Might need a bit of guidance for the first few tries - whatever they entail - because I usually get the wrong end of the stick but once I 'get' the job, I should be OK at it.

    Thanks for the offer!

    Yours respectfully

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Please email me on [email protected] @ulrichburke and I can talk you through the role. :)
    Senior online community officer
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @ulrichburke

    A very warm welcome to the community.

    You will thoroughly enjoy your roll as a Community Champion.

    Remember, we are here to support and advise, as best we can.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,355Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @ulrichburke Apologies late reply my friend this is good.

    If you Email @Sam_Scope given you the details. You will be OK first time on here.

    All the community champions role is saying positive words and being polite, kind supportive  the welcoming new members.

    Not too sure say that I am not too sure but a member of our team or a member of our community will advise or know .Something like that .  

    Remember small steps always. Great to have you here.

    Look forward to supporting you.

    Take care.



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