Big society not understood
I have had my concerns about the 'big society' since it was first mentioned. Not because it is a bad idea per se; but because politicising a natural system of volunteering and community support is bound to complicate things.
And lo and behold, I've been asked a range of questions in the last few weeks which leads me to believe volunteering and charity work is indeed understood - thanks Big Society plans! People I know well have all recently realised that I'm not paid for any of my ministry and charity roles. It's come about as I've needed to find ways to make some cash to fund my ability to volunteer. People have been genuinely shocked that I am chair of a preschool charity and that's a voluntary role, and that being an LLM is unpaid.
I don't believe that society would have previously assumed these sorts of roles would be paid, I certainly never did; but our society now assumes that volunteering is only for menial jobs, not the big things.
I am pleased that now I can help people understand the depth and breadth of volunteering in society; the number of charities that rely on the generosity of time, the vast range of volunteering opportunities. But really Big Society; don't you see how government interference has changed the perception if ordinary people about charities???