(potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

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Si
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(potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby Si » 17 Nov 2018, 10:55am

CUK is looking at possible ways that it might use the forum to further help its volunteers. Several possible ways are being discussed but it would seem silly to steam roller ahead without consulting the volunteers themselves or those who might be considering volunteering.

Rather than inadvertently steer you down specific alleys by saying what's been discussed I'd rather start with a clean chalk board and ask you to just fire away with your own ideas...I'll then let on what has already been discussed once we've had some volunteer led discussion (tries very hard not to say "blue sky thinking" ;-) ).

Can I ask everyone to start their initial post on this by very briefly explaining what volunteering they currently do, have done, or might consider doing please, just so we know what experience your view is based on.

Thanks.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby PH » 17 Nov 2018, 11:25am

My limited volunteering is with the local Member group, CTC Derby and Burton. I currently look after the publicity and promotions, am a committee member and previously treasurer. I'm a frequent ride leader and involved with the groups initiatives to encourage more riding and membership.
There is a place for discussion and an exchange of ideas, but I don't think this open forum is it. It's largely populated with none members and there's enough Cycling UK detractors that already any discussion on a CUK subject quickly dissolves into a list of historic complaints.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Nov 2018, 11:42am

My CTC volunteering days are now long-gone. I was a CRN rep and then Right-to-Ride. I've experience volunteering in other fields, mainly CAB and volunteer reading support in schools.

I think PH is right in what he says, so to use the potential of this or another forum, it might be best with access limited only to the volunteers.

There's a wider issue concerning the management of volunteers, although most charities seem to have professional managers specialising in it.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Nov 2018, 11:54am

Time for a poll maybe, many on here are members, some are ex-members
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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby Psamathe » 17 Nov 2018, 12:01pm

Several years ago (back when I was a member) I volunteered to undertake a role that they had no abilities in doing and were not doing and it was "like wading through treacle" so I gave up before I even got to volunteer. (They appreciated that they were out of their depth and could not do what I was offering to do and recognised that it did need doing).

As I think the organisation has gone downhill since those days I wonder why people would volunteer when there are many other organisations who can use voluntary resource well. When I volunteer I expect my time and effort to be used to good effect and not wasted.

Ian

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Si
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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby Si » 17 Nov 2018, 4:44pm

Please note that the OP asked for views on how the forum could aid volunteers. It would be appriciated if this is what you could do rather than use it to express opinion on other subjects. This is not to say that those other subjects are not valid topics for discussion, but please start another thread for them and leave this one for discussion of how the forum might help current or potential volunteers (or, as PH suggests how it might not be the best vehicle for doing this).

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby Psamathe » 17 Nov 2018, 4:55pm

Si wrote:Please note that the OP asked for views on how the forum could aid volunteers. It would be appriciated if this is what you could do rather than use it to express opinion on other subjects. This is not to say that those other subjects are not valid topics for discussion, but please start another thread for them and leave this one for discussion of how the forum might help current or potential volunteers (or, as PH suggests how it might not be the best vehicle for doing this).

Sorry. I was responding to
Si wrote:.......
Can I ask everyone to start their initial post on this by very briefly explaining what volunteering they currently do, have done, or might consider doing please, just so we know what experience your view is based on.

Thanks.


Ian

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gaz
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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby gaz » 17 Nov 2018, 5:30pm

My times as a CTC volunteer ride leader, section secretary and CRN member are behind me. I'll probably have another go at ride leading some time in the future, possibly RtR too. Sustrans Ranger for the last seven years and about to end my five years as a Sustrans Group Co-ordinator.

I believe Si is familiar with the Sustrans volunteers' forum, accessible to all 4000 (allegedly) of their volunteers. Over the past four years it has averaged less than 8 posts (not topics) per month, possibly <1% of volunteers have ever posted.

I'd predict a similar level of take up for a dedicated Cycling UK volunteer forum, IMO more effort than it would be worth.

Theoretically a dedicated board on the existing forum could be set up like that already exists for NSCT, however in practice I can imagine a lot of moderator intervention being required and I can't see NO dedicating somebody to the task.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby robgul » 17 Nov 2018, 5:51pm

Given the past comments over the years I would suggest that a better starting point would be to outline/list the type of tasks that CTC is looking for from volunteers - then invite thoughts, views, suggestions and then measure propensity to volunteer.

Whilst I no longer have much interest in Sustrans at least they do, or did, have quite clear volunteer roles.

Slightly OT - my volunteering for the past couple of years has been mechanicing at a charity bike shop - rejuvenating donated bikes to be saleable to raise funds for the charity (Cyclist fighting Cancer)

Rob

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Nov 2018, 2:06pm

This is to try to make sure this thread doesn't just drop off the first page just yet.

I do feel it's perhaps a solution looking for a problem. CUK has an active forum so let's find a use for it.

It's had me thinking about the different roles of volunteers: I had been thinking mainly of campaigners and ride organisers, but the possibility of a third - offering their skills such as IT - on a voluntary basis. One way or another, I've not detected much sign of CUK volunteers needing more facilities for discussion.

Perhaps there's also a problem where the solution might be a rejig of the forum.

Looking at this from the CUK end, there's a lot of stuff on here which ought to be invaluable to existing and would-be cyclists. I'm thinking of detailed advice on lots of different aspects of cycling, including general riding, touring (including the popular LEJOG route) technical, health and legal advice. Mostly good stuff. But there's also a lot of often contentious discussion, not always with any connection with cycling. Whether cycling-related or not, it tends to include a lot of sharp criticism of elected politicians and appointed officials (and for that matter, criticism of CUK itself.) Not necessarily the image a modern charity might want to portray.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby gaz » 18 Nov 2018, 4:52pm

thirdcrank wrote:It's had me thinking about the different roles of volunteers:

More on that here.

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby mjr » 18 Nov 2018, 7:48pm

I volunteer for a Cyclenation group, primarily reviewing Traffic Regulation Orders, WTROs, TTROs, Cycle Track Conversion Orders, related strategies, plans and policies and planning applications. I also do some of the webmastering and route suggestions. CN used to have some sort of collaboration agreement with CTC but I've not been feeling it lately. CTC HQ seemed to want us to affiliate, we couldn't get consensus to do that (with some of the objectors being CTC members!) and it basically went quiet after I told them that.

Si wrote:Please note that the OP asked for views on how the forum could aid volunteers.

No, it didn't quite. Maybe you meant it to?

I find this forum useful for information/idea sharing with other campaigners and finding answers to difficult questions. If the info fed into HQ a bit or HQ used it to share, that could be a good evolution.
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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby 1066enthalpies1939 » 24 Nov 2018, 6:55am

The lack of comment on this subject may indicate a lack of interest of how cuk is run and the very low percentage of cuk members who frequent here?

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby gaz » 24 Nov 2018, 8:30am

brynpoeth wrote:Time for a poll maybe, ...

Time for a marmalade sandwich if you ask me :mrgreen: .

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Re: (potential) CUK Volunteers - your opinions pls

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Nov 2018, 2:33pm

The lack of comment on this subject may indicate a lack of interest of how cuk is run and the very low percentage of cuk members who frequent here?


I'd be slow to draw any conclusions here, but the most obvious to me is that (potential) CUK volunteers don't see a use for the forum in that connection.

CUK membership isn't a pre-requisite of forum membership nor should it be: IMO one of its biggest potential contributions to the promotion of cycling is the availability of top notch advice to anybody who asks.