Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

Today “The House of Lords science and technology committee said ministers seemed to be mistaken in their use of what is known as the nudge theory.”  ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14187802 ) Nudge theory is the idea that changes are made to the social and physical environment without legislation that encourage (or discourage) specific behaviour. One example of this would be for fast food restaurants to have salad rather than chips as the default side order.

The committee made the point that a balance of approaches should be used rather than relying solely on ‘nudging’ people.  This seems a blindingly obvious ‘finding’ for anyone who has worked personally or professionally around changing problematic behaviours.  Perhaps this is more about where power and influence truly lies rather than personal perspectives on what is a sensible approach. 

My point here is there is already a very well balanced set of approaches to something like illicit drug use where the agenda is quite simple.  The problems with balanced approaches and the use of legislation become far more complicated when things like minimum prices for alcohol and supermarket food labelling are on the agenda.  The challenge with the use of legislation here is that some influential organisations and individuals might lose money; suddenly there is apprehension about moving forward.

It’s great to see all the ‘courageous’ stands by politicians about ‘the press’ in light of the News of the World scandal.  But it seems unlikely that the same courage is going to follow through into other areas.

Read Full Post »

The first time I got involved with Simon on the Streets as a volunteer it transformed my life. Let me try and tell you why.

Nothing can prepare you for your first experience with Simon on the Streets. Mine being the moment when we turned the corner in the Soup Van to see 40-50 people waiting with hunger and anticipation. I was immediately given the job of handing out the blankets and although closely watched by my new colleagues I was left to settle in on my own with my new job.

As I watched around me, I noticed two things; firstly that the practical needs were being delivered to those in need; food, blankets, the finest tea inLeeds. Additionally, I saw emotional support being provided by a formidable group of people. These volunteers and full time workers, from all different backgrounds and experiences were giving up the most precious thing they had. Their time.

As my own experience developed, I realised how special these people are and how good it felt being part of their team. Later, as I met more volunteers who provide different services to the homeless and rootless people ofLeeds, I understood that they knew different people to me and that the network of support extended far beyond the provision of the Soup Van. They offered a listening ear and a helping hand everyday and every night to those people who, for whatever reason were not receiving support from the recognised support agencies.

As well as providing support to the most vulnerable people in Leeds, Huddersfield and Bradford, the friendships and support that exists within Simon on the Streets creates an environment of understanding, commitment, loyalty and trust.

The bond that is created between the volunteers and the fulltime workers is something I have not experienced before. Not only is there an abundance of fun, banter and humor, there is an atmosphere that takes you away from life’s challenges and gives you a sense of purpose and belonging surrounded by thoughtfulness and caring.  Everybody is there to listen, not to pry or judge, just to be there when you need to share.

Now in my eight year as a volunteer, I find myself sharing with others the joy of being a volunteer with Simon on the Streets. People can hear how excited and passionate I am about our organisation. However, the way to truly appreciate it is to be part of an amazing team and have their “first moment”. From that point on, they will be part of a unique group of people. It may also transform your life!

Ian, Volunteer

Read Full Post »

The first time I got involved with Leeds Simon on the Streets Community as a volunteer it transformed my life.

Let me try and tell you why.

Nothing can prepare you for your first experience with the Simon on the Streets.  Mine being the moment when we turned the corner in the Soup Van to see 40-50 people waiting with hunger and anticipation.  I was immediately given the job of handing out the blankets and although closely watched by my new colleagues I was left to settle in on my own with my new job. 

As I watched around me, I noticed two things; firstly the practical needs were being met; food, blankets, the finest tea in Leeds. Additionally, I saw emotional support being provided by a formidable group of people. These people, from all different backgrounds and experiences were giving up the most precious thing they had. Their time. They offered a listening ear and a helping hand to those people who, for whatever reason were not receiving it from the recognised support agencies

As my own experience developed, I realised how special these people are and how good it felt being part of their team.  As well as providing support to the most vulnerable people in our great city, the friendships and support that exists within the Community creates an environment of understanding, commitment, loyalty and trust.  The bond that is created between the workers is something I have not experienced before.  Not only is there an abundance of fun, banter and humour, there is an atmosphere that takes you away from life’s challenges and gives you a sense of purpose and belonging surrounded by caring and thoughtfulness.

Everybody is there to listen, not to pry or judge, just to be there when you need to share.

Now in my third year as a volunteer, I find myself sharing with others the joy of being a volunteer with Leeds Simon on the Streets. People can hear how excited and passionate I am about our organisation. However, the way to truly appreciate it is to be part of the amazing team and have your own “first moment”. From that point on, you will be amongst a unique group of people. It might also transform your life!

Read Full Post »