As a temporarily ‘stay at home mum’ with a currently overactive social conscious mind I’ve learnt a lot this week through my own letterbox.
I got a knock on the door the other day by a ‘Shelter’ Charity Worker seeking public support for donations for their Christmas Emergency Appeal – (nicely timed just before Children in Need). As an outreach worker myself for two years I can empathise with rejection/strange stares, doors slamming and not to mention aching legs and freezing feet. Exhibiting a passion for your subject on behalf of a national charity towards people who aren’t interested for no commission and for the greater good requires a bit of a thick skin both practically and emotionally.
Now, the shoe was on the other foot, I knew that just by opening the door and listening (I had the time) gives them an opportunity to practice their spiel and is motivating enough for them to keep going. Needless to say we were soon engrossed in a discussion on the in-justice of the housing crisis, bedroom tax and government cuts.
He told me and I think I already knew this, Shelter utilises a database of experienced professionals for short cuts into the system to support families facing eviction that bigger establishments can’t provide on an individual basis. As I went to collect the kids from school I thought about how this charity is using specialised expertise creatively to help support families, but also filling the gaps where local government are cutting budgets. Do councils know about this or rely on Shelter to provide this service where the public sector struggle to meet the need?
This reminds me of an article I read by Stephen Bubb in the Society Guardian on 24th July this year http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jul/24/voluntary-sector-cut-price-provision
More interesting news that came through my door which, if I had not been there to witness would have assumed to have been delivered at different times was a Menu (not a strange thing) and… is this a public notice from the police warning about bonfires on land in the local area? Have these services joined forces? Is the takeaway menu guy providing the information on behalf of the council. It seems so.. What a great way to utilise local business resources! Let’s all change our ‘No Flyers’ stickers to – ‘more local information for those who still can’t access the internet, please!’