Three Days Off for Volunteering

(Here is another in our end of year "best of" review of our favourite light-hearted articles from 2015).

The crazy, costly, headline-grabbing, thoughtful and caring scheme from the Conservative party manifesto to make all large employers give staff three days a year off for voluntary activities sets up some interesting possibilities.

One that comes to mind is an opportunity for CIPS (the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply). CIPS is a registered charity, so presumably volunteering for CIPS activities would fall under this new scheme. Now in my experience, most firms are pretty helpful if, for example, their staff get involved with CIPS national bodies such as Congress or the Board. Some paid time out for that type of contribution is usual.

But if this initiative does come to fruition, could CIPS look to provide volunteering opportunities to many more members? How about getting members to go into schools or colleges and do presentations to promote the profession? Or what about a mentoring scheme whereby members from large organisations could support smaller firms, that either don't have a professional procurement person at all or perhaps have a one-person function that could do with some occasional support or advice?

It would be worth CIPS thinking about this - at least after May 7th if the Tories are in a position of power. It could get many more people actively involved with the Institute.

However, I plan to develop my own response to the scheme. I'm starting a new charity - DRIP (Drinking Responsibly in Pubs). DRIP has the mission to encourage responsible and courteous drinking in pubs, to help reduce incidences of drunk driving, violence, general drunkenness, alcoholism and people ordering Lager Tops. Our volunteers tour pubs, on foot of course, to provide a calming influence on the drinkers in those hostelries, to offer advice, and to demonstrate by example how to drink responsibly.

So, in return for a small donation to DRIP, we will be organising what we have termed "pub crawls". Our volunteers will be able to sign up to these tours of local public houses on their paid days off from their large employers. We think this is a great opportunity for people to put something back into their local communities - at the expense of their employers of course - and really get the feeling that they are helping. The "big society" at work, if you like. Or "London Pride" (4 pints please my good man) if you are based in the Capital.

Our website will be live shortly and you will be able to sign up then we look forward to DRIP rapidly becoming the best supported charity in the UK. (Free paracetamol with every registration).

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