Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day

I heard about this day through Juha-Matti Santala. It occurs twice a year on the longest and shortest day and is a chance for volunteers to reflect on the list of things they do, and decide if some changes need to be made to prevent them burning out.

This is a great idea. I volunteer with several organisations. It’s a really important way to get structure, identity and purpose after you stop work. But it can get overwhelming. There are just so many interesting things to get involved with, it’s easy to over commit.

Most people overestimate what they can achieve in the short term, and underestimate what they can achieve over the long term. Volunteering, like everything else in life, has to be sustainable to be effective.

So on the summer solstice, June 2024, I decided to review all the things I get involved in. I’ll start by listing them out (which will be pretty scary). Like a stock take really. I’m not going to take immediate action, but hopefully this will help me to focus on the best way to allocate time.

The list is split into things I help organise and things I participate in. Clearly things that I organise have a bit more of an impact if I were to stop doing them.

Volunteer organising

  • Dursley Walking Festival
  • Dursley Welcomes Walkers
  • Dursley Code Club
  • Dursley Green Drinks/Hub
  • Stroud Space Create
  • GWT tree survey
  • Riverfly Monitoring
  • Small mammal river monitoring
  • Stroud Wildlife Survey Group
  • Wild Acres website
  • Glorious Grasslands survey data
  • The Artocalypse

Volunteer participation

  • Wild Acres Community Days
  • Glorious Grasslands Habitat management/Seed Harvesting
  • Dursley Environmental Management Group
  • GWT Canal group
  • SVP Canal group
  • Visit Dursley
  • FWAG
  • Gloucestershire Vale Conservation Volunteers
  • SVP Tree group
  • Uley Trees and Meadows

This is quite an extensive list already. All of the tasks also generate general admin to deal with to a greater or lesser extent. My diary is full most days with outdoor activities and evenings is dedicated to digital catch up.

This doesn’t include my personal projects such as this blog and my diary. There are also a number of computer projects I would like to pursue but don’t have capacity to start.

On the plus side, I don’t watch TV, do social media or drink alcohol. This frees up a lot of time. However I do read a lot on the IndieWeb, watch a reasonable amount of youtube and participate in online communities.

I do have a nagging feeling that I am doing too much. I’m not sure where this review has got me, but at least it’s been a good opportunity to scope out what’s actually going on.

Read more on this topic . . .