Feeling Unwanted

Long term readers will know that I volunteer, through Raynet, on an event in early December every year. It’s always amazingly hard work, as well as being cold and usually wet, but also great fun :-) .

We’re normally all organised and know exactly who’s doing which job by the middle of September, so when I hadn’t heard anything I e-mailed the Raynet person who’s our liason with the organisers. He replied that there was still a problem he was trying to sort out and he’d be in touch soon.

Well it turns out that the organisers have decided not to use Raynet this year – or rather, they’ve imposed conditions on Raynet which are impossible to fulfil in the time allowed. Basically they’re insisting that all Raynet people not only have CRB – which most of us do – but have CRB issued by their organisation. Since CRB takes at least four weeks, and starts with everyone turning up in person to present their personal ID docs, it was never going to happen with a team of volunteers from all over England – at least, not in the time available before this year’s event.

For my non-UK readers, CRB is a “Criminal Records Bureau” check, by which people who work or volunteer in positions which bring them into contact with vulnerable people have to prove they’ve never been caught doing anything nasty. As I’ve blogged before, the system is heavily flawed, produces huge numbers of false negatives and positives, only picks up those who’ve already been caught, and worst of all lulls parents and carers into a false sense of security about who’s looking after their young ones.

So, Raynet won’t be doing that one this year, in spite of the fact that most of us do have current CRB and are anyway never in a situation of being alone with vulnerable people. In the nature of such things, I suspect we won’t be asked back. And then, at the start of this week, I heard that another event which I’ve volunteered on since time immemorial won’t be needing me next year either1.

Which is why today’s piece is entitled “Feeling Unwanted”.

1 To be strictly accurate, the organisation that runs the event has sacked the team members who did the actual organisation. Since that now puts the event in the hands of people who make Brownian Motion look organised, I’ve decided they can do without me as well..

Comments are closed.