Author Topic: Something to get involved with  (Read 1282 times)

Something to get involved with
« on: March 18, 2021, 02:46:35 pm »
I've been pondering doing something to add something to my life. I have a decent enough job but it's far from exciting

I've been considering things like RNLI or coastguard or similar. Those two not being possible as don't live close enough to the coast. I have enquired with coast guard as to if I could be in call on site but they don't actually have sites you can be on outside call outs

I'm have also considered Lowland search and rescue which is still an option but recently became aware of Navy Reserve which I'm looking into but may be too long away from home

Has anyone got any more suggestions. I'm Essex based so rules out mountain rescue I'm afraid. Oh I also considered blood biker but locally they don't supply bikes and don't currently have a motor bike although have a full licence

I would like it to be something where I work in a team and not really looking towards sports more of a giving something role

Thanks

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 02:51:25 pm »
Have you considered Blood Bikes? I have a friend who regularly rides for them and it is a really worthwhile thing that you would be doing.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2021, 03:10:35 pm »
I did but don't currently have a bike and can't really justify spending out on one just to use for blood biking. I think some regions have pool bikes but our local one doesn't

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 04:02:18 pm »
How about going around your area sweeping the streets? There's litter strewn along most streets,
roads and hedgerows in the UK.

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2021, 04:09:00 pm »
I did but don't currently have a bike and can't really justify spending out on one just to use for blood biking. I think some regions have pool bikes but our local one doesn't

Ah, OK, up here (North Yorkshire/Teesside) they provide the bikes
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2021, 04:10:20 pm »
Have been a member of the local litter picking group for around 4 years and picked up loads but looking for something maybe a little more exciting

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2021, 05:07:36 pm »
Local food bank?
Sustrans Ranger.
Some councils have footpath and right of way rangers. (You'll need a decent set of secateurs.)
Dare I suggest local politics? (We'll be seeing you on youtube then  ;D)
Samaritans.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2021, 05:09:58 pm »

oh, I nearly forgot.
Heavy drinking?
Seems to work for some people.
 ;)
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2021, 05:21:51 pm »
Looking at the Essex Blood bikers website they do have some liveried bikes, whether they are pool bikes or limited to certain individuals or not I can't say. I know from the Surrey / South London group that there are a number of the 'runs' that are completed on four wheels rather than two1 so not having a bike isn't prohibitive. There are also controller roles who will be taking the calls and dispatching the riders. It's not necessarily as exciting but it is a good way of having a sleepless night. (Call - dispatch - notification of collection - notification of delivery - rider home safe).


1 Most bikes can only carry one or two boxes, if there is a relay out from the blood bank to hand over to other areas (Kent and Sussex for the surrey bunch) they may try to combine the loads so one car meets four or more bikes. Also the risk assessment will stop the two wheel fleet below a defined temperature ~3oC.

Diesel

  • or Richard
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2021, 05:28:01 pm »
Loads of possibilities depending on what you are interesting in. This link leads to lots of possibilities - https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering/i-want-to-volunteer . Local Volunteer Centres can be good to explore local possibilities.

Have you considered cubs/ scouts? Looking at your original post, this might be along those lines. Outdoors, working in a team etc. Often looking for leaders, helpers and other roles.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2021, 05:28:13 pm »
Train as a Samaritans councillor?

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2021, 10:51:28 pm »
I've been considering things like RNLI or coastguard or similar. Those two not being possible as don't live close enough to the coast. I have enquired with coast guard as to if I could be in call on site but they don't actually have sites you can be on outside call outs

It's probably of no use to you anyway, but the busiest lifeboat station in the UK isn't on the coast - it's at Tower Pier beside Ye Olde Tower of Londinium
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2021, 11:31:26 pm »
Could check any local nature reserves or wildlife trust, or TCV etc. Often looking for volunteers. Could be planting trees, or building paths, or fixing fences etc. Or cutting and burning rhododendron is good fun.

Or a steam railway could be interesting, if anything nearby?

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 07:41:04 am »
Thanks everyone

Zipper I kinda knew that but watching an old saving life's at sea last night and they featured it which reminded me. I'm going to contact them and see if they currently have any vacancies as is only an hour or so from me and if as I understand you can stay on site may work

I probably should have made it clearer I'm looking for something more active so things like samaritans while amazing aren't quite what I'm looking for

I do a bit of wildlife work already. Well actually have once but that's as found out about it then covid came along. There are work parties on our local navigation removing invasive pennywort

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 07:42:06 am »
I've volunteered with The Canal and River Trust for the last 9 years.
My main job (in normal times) is volunteer lock keeper / towpath ranger, but I've got heavily involved with the safety side of the Trust and travel quite a bit doing risk assessments in things like locks and weirs.

Like most big organisations they have their problems and politics, but most of the people are mostly good most of the time. Frankly, it's not what you are doing as a volunteer so much, more it's about the people you are working with, and for.

I'm not sure how helpful this is to you specifically in Essex, but I'll throw volunteering on the canals out as a general suggestion for the masses to consider.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2021, 08:48:48 am »
I have never quite seen the logic of blood biking, given that
- the NHS already employs people to drive stuff about
- riding a bike at night or in bad weather is not something to be taken lightly. A car or van would be a better option
- you need some sort of advanced rider qualification before they’ll even consider you.
- obviously, there’s only so much stuff you can carry on a bike.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2021, 09:04:58 am »
Given you're (presumably) a cyclist, what about tandem pilot-ing?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

road-runner

  • Currently in Slovakia
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2021, 09:31:36 am »
What level of interaction with people would you ideally like?
 - Minimal in-person interaction, eg. Radio hospital DJ.
 - Purely interaction, eg. meals on wheels delivery driver.
 - A bit more conversation, eg. mobile library service.
 - A whole lot more conversation, eg. The Samaritans.
 - Part of a team where the result is the target, eg. volunteer firefighter
 - Part of a team where connecting with people is a secondary target, eg. first aid trainer.
 - Part of an integrated team, eg. volunteer at an old people's home.
There will be many other possibilities; I am trying to get you to help us make good suggestions by knowing better how you like to work and interact with others.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2021, 12:43:45 pm »
As someone who's family connections with Blood Biking in Surrey and South London goes back 40 years! First on a bike, then a car and now controlling. I'll make some observations below:

I have never quite seen the logic of blood biking, given that
- the NHS already employs people to drive stuff about

NHS Blood and Transplant have a working hours service and a very limited on call out of hours for serious incidents. Outside of these cases overnight you either use an ambulance or a taxi which is either a limited resource or expensive to go from Tooting Bloodbank to say Canterbury at 2am. Also see below for the different types of items transported, can you be confident of the paperwork if transported by taxi or what happens if the ambulance needs to divert to a heart attack?

Quote
- riding a bike at night or in bad weather is not something to be taken lightly. A car or van would be a better option

The concept was founded by bikers but that doesn't mean that four wheel vehicles are not common. In fact last year 47% of the surrey and south london runs were done by volunteers in their own car by comparison 20% were on the volunteers bike, the remainder were the fleet liveried vehicles which are both bikes and cars. Equally at 8pm getting from Tooting to Royal London by bike is significantly quicker than car. if the temperature is low then every run is in a car.

Quote
- you need some sort of advanced rider qualification before they’ll even consider you.

Agreed, this is part of their risk assessment and can be an issue. However it is better that the parcel arrives than extra patients and demand.

Quote
- obviously, there’s only so much stuff you can carry on a bike.

Not all of what they carry is bulk blood or platelets, though it is most of what they transport. You have to remember that most transport is by the routine NHS daytime deliveries, the out of hours is either an individual patient demand or higher than anticipated demand. Orders of more than one or two boxes to an individual hospital are unusual and the liveried bikes can typically take two.
Originally calls were often to take a sample to a lab at a different hospital, now it can be reagents from one lab to another. Also it can be medical notes from a nursing home to a hospital.
There are also day time roles now collecting breast milk donations or delivering blood between a hospital and the local air ambulance, taking any unused blood back that night so that it doesn't expire.


Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2021, 12:59:48 pm »
Given you're (presumably) a cyclist, what about tandem pilot-ing?

Ah yes.  I did that for a while at the local blind school.
Lots to think about. For example, we're zooming down a country hill.
Me, "Sharp left!"
Stoker flings his weight left.
Me, "Whoa, not yet"

We just got away with that one.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2021, 07:57:25 am »
Road runner I think as you'd describe it being psrt of a team working towards an short term result

I've made a few enquiries. One to the tower RNLI. I've also possibly put my foot in it and agreed to help clear our local river. Our green councillor is tryto get the environment agency to clear some trees that have fallen across the river and are accumulating rubbish. If they won't but give us the all clear to then will be helping with that

Also the possibility of a change of jobs so will see if that changes anything commitment wise

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2021, 10:48:33 am »
Not all of what they carry is bulk blood or platelets, though it is most of what they transport. You have to remember that most transport is by the routine NHS daytime deliveries, the out of hours is either an individual patient demand or higher than anticipated demand. Orders of more than one or two boxes to an individual hospital are unusual and the liveried bikes can typically take two.
Originally calls were often to take a sample to a lab at a different hospital, now it can be reagents from one lab to another. Also it can be medical notes from a nursing home to a hospital.
There are also day time roles now collecting breast milk donations or delivering blood between a hospital and the local air ambulance, taking any unused blood back that night so that it doesn't expire.
And this is where I get a bit grumpy about the whole concept of volunteering (including in my own sphere described up thread)
When volunteers are taking paid jobs away from people who would otherwise be earning a living - in this case taxi drivers & couriers - then volunteering falls somewhere between 'taking the piss' & 'providing a service on the cheap'.
I fail to see what added the value of 'blood bikes' is over and above the use of regular taxi / courier companies which worked perfectly well for the increasingly centralised laboratory services that I worked in and managed over many years.
Don't try the 'it saves money' argument - if a service is worth providing, it's worth funding properly. If it can't be funded then provide the service a different way, or not at all.
Beyond this niche there is a tendency for charity sector organisations to push the boundaries of what volunteers are asked / expected to do, so that the organisation can reduce its costs by not employing people to do the jobs now done by volunteers.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2021, 11:03:21 am »
Not all of what they carry is bulk blood or platelets, though it is most of what they transport. You have to remember that most transport is by the routine NHS daytime deliveries, the out of hours is either an individual patient demand or higher than anticipated demand. Orders of more than one or two boxes to an individual hospital are unusual and the liveried bikes can typically take two.
Originally calls were often to take a sample to a lab at a different hospital, now it can be reagents from one lab to another. Also it can be medical notes from a nursing home to a hospital.
There are also day time roles now collecting breast milk donations or delivering blood between a hospital and the local air ambulance, taking any unused blood back that night so that it doesn't expire.
And this is where I get a bit grumpy about the whole concept of volunteering (including in my own sphere described up thread)
When volunteers are taking paid jobs away from people who would otherwise be earning a living - in this case taxi drivers & couriers - then volunteering falls somewhere between 'taking the piss' & 'providing a service on the cheap'.
I fail to see what added the value of 'blood bikes' is over and above the use of regular taxi / courier companies which worked perfectly well for the increasingly centralised laboratory services that I worked in and managed over many years.
Don't try the 'it saves money' argument - if a service is worth providing, it's worth funding properly. If it can't be funded then provide the service a different way, or not at all.
Beyond this niche there is a tendency for charity sector organisations to push the boundaries of what volunteers are asked / expected to do, so that the organisation can reduce its costs by not employing people to do the jobs now done by volunteers.

I would suggest the "value" of blood bikes is for the benefit of the riders and the people running it. That they are able feel that they are contributing to society and public good.

That goes for charities and volunteering in general as well.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2021, 12:35:38 pm »
I would suggest "value" of blood bikes is for the benefit of the riders and the people running it. That they are able feel that they are contributing to society and public good.
That goes for charities and volunteering in general as well.
If that means taking jobs off people to give the volunteers a feel-good factor then I disagree.
Jobs give people much more than pay at the end of the day, it's self-worth and a sense of purpose, plus the payment of wages contributes to the public good though taxation. We can all volunteer all the time, but contributing to society doesn't put food on the table in the way that a wage does.
Volunteers should not be taking paid jobs away from other people.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2021, 01:12:43 pm »
I would suggest "value" of blood bikes is for the benefit of the riders and the people running it. That they are able feel that they are contributing to society and public good.
That goes for charities and volunteering in general as well.
If that means taking jobs off people to give the volunteers a feel-good factor then I disagree.
Jobs give people much more than pay at the end of the day, it's self-worth and a sense of purpose, plus the payment of wages contributes to the public good though taxation. We can all volunteer all the time, but contributing to society doesn't put food on the table in the way that a wage does.
Volunteers should not be taking paid jobs away from other people.

I agree! That's why I put "value" in quotes.