Note: Nobody is complaining about job substitution now!
- Why is the government not turning to the existing volunteering infrastructure for help in deploying spontaneous volunteers?
- If it did, does the volunteering infrastructure have the resources to be of help at times like this?
- What should be the role of national volunteering infrastructure bodies like NCVO and NAVCA (to name just two) in co-ordinating with government and the relevant agencies to ensure the great British public’s spontaneous help is directed most effectively?
- What plans do the existing volunteering infrastructure have in place so that they are prepared to be of real help in times like this by channeling spontaneous volunteer support to the right places?
- Who is ensuring that the spontaneous volunteering that is happening is being done safely and actually helping, not hindering, relief efforts? We might not realise it but people wanting to help can actually cause more problems than they alleviate, a situation explored in detail by Jayne Cravens on her webpage, Volunteering To Help After Major Disasters.
- Who is monitoring whether people actually follow through on the pledges of support? Take a look at this story (again reported by Jayne Cravens) following the floods in Queensland, Australia three years ago where this was an issue.
- What is being / will be done to see if these spontaneous volunteers who are making a real difference in flood affected communities might want to put their time into volunteering when the flood waters subside?
Quite rightly the focus now is on on helping those affected by the floods. As the efforts move in the coming weeks into cleaning up and moving on, the media will inevitably focus on the lessons learnt from the floods. There will be calls for better flood defences, more funding for flood hit communities, an examination of the political point scoring that seems to be more important to some politicians than helping the people in need.