I opened up my email this morning, and in there was a message containing a link, username and password to get onto the Stroke Association's "volunteer" intranet.
I'm hopeful that this site will contain some useful resources, although I must admit to having some reservations, in particular about being a part of a much larger organisation. You see, I spent my whole working life, almost, as an outsider, running my one-man-band and essentially parachuting in somewhere just to help out. So, I'm used to being independent.
Also, it made me focus - just how involved do I want to be with the Stroke Association? Certainly, I was unimpressed with the absense of any public comments in the wake of redundancies following recent local council cuts. I felt that they could have used the national media, at least, to mention this. (In their defence, I'm probably over-estimating the amount of clout they'd have in any case.) So I'm not sure that I could be guaranteed to be "on message" with them. It sometimes grates when people talk about the "wonderful" health service, and I just think "well, it wasn't particularly wonderful for me". And certainly, I've found other stroke charities which, I think, are more tuned in to my views, since I discovered the Stroke Association. I do tink with stroke, we're also talking about health service priorities, i.e. politics, and we're sometimes justified in being critical.
But I suppose, if we let the politics get to us, we'd all have stopped volunteering a long time ago, what with one thing or another.
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.