Friday, 2 January 2009

Giving Something Back - What Is There For Me?

Because of my inability to work on any kind of regular basis my income comprises solely of what the state choose to pay me. It’s not a lot but still a whole lot more than what some people in this world have and I’m grateful to the taxpayers whose earnings my income is dependant on.

There have been other times in my life where I’ve been dependent on benefits too. When Paul was little he was very difficult to handle (profound learning difficulties led to irregular and sometimes dangerous behaviour) and when several child-minders had given up and pretty much left me in the lurch, I realised that paid employment just wasn’t going to work out. I had to be at home with him and as a single mum that meant going on benefits.

I’ve never liked just taking and not giving anything back though so I did voluntary work instead. That way I could take Paul with me when I needed to and have time off when he was ill (which he often was back then). I enjoyed the work I did and felt I was doing something useful as a way of saying thanks for the support I was getting.

At the moment I feel kind of stuck though. I’ve looked into all sorts of voluntary work but they all want people who they can depend on to work regularly, something I can’t promise. When my stamina’s good I can work, but when it isn’t I can’t even get out of bed and downstairs let alone out of the house and actually do something. So that’s no good.

I’ve been doing the odd bit of charity knitting and am planning to do more but that doesn’t feel like enough somehow. And I give to charity shops of course, but who doesn’t?

Ideally I’d like something I could do from home like typing for example, but nobody seems to want that.

Do I really have to go on just taking without returning anything? Surely there’s more I can do?

Any ideas would be gratefully received.

Sharon J xx


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Jade of the Jungle said...

Lovely sentiment, Sharon! I signed up to this online volunteering website a few months ago and though I haven't done anything through it yet, it might have something for you? It's basically volunteer opportunities that you can do via the internet - whether it be helping develop a website or translate something, if you have those skills. Sometimes it is just proofreading.

Also, I signed up to a similar organisation called Nabuur but if i'm being honest I found the site quite hard to navigate and I gave up pretty quickly. Worth a look though.

Finally, I'm sure you've had a look into this but a few years back I volunteered with my local Oxfam shop. They were very good with flexible times etc and were just happy if you could turn up for an hour or two to, say, sort through books and price them or something.

Good luck with it


ps not sure if you saw my comment on another post re emailing you, I've had loads of problems for some reason - my emails keep bouncing back. If you email me, I'll then respond and hopefully you'll get it that way x

Sharon J said...

Thanks for those links, Jade. I'll definitely have a look at them as they do sound as thought they may have something I could do :)

Will email you later.

Catz said...

Sharon I know just what you mean! The early days of "boom and bust" with cfs/me meant that my energy levels have let me down many times and made me "unreliable" but I still feel I have much to give. Don't forget that with this blog you are also giving by helping to inspire others! You knitting is wonderful too and I am sure is much appreciated.