top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureCrone

The ripple effect

Like my post Evolution, this is an idea I was trying to get 'out there'. Just as with that one, I have had no joy. So, I thought I'd post it here.


***


VOLUNTEER – DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD

A proposal to show gratitude to the public and encourage future volunteering

Isabella Clarke

July 2020

The British public’s laudable volunteering effort, particularly during the lockdown phase of the coronavirus pandemic has been a remarkable and impressive response to need.

Individuals’ actions have assisted the state and the health service in managing some of the immediate effects of the crisis.

This effort is and should continue to be celebrated – but it should also be encouraged to continue beyond the Stay At Home and Stay Alert phases of the pandemic.

In part, the work of volunteers is always of benefit to a society, but perhaps as critically, for the volunteers themselves, such actions tend to enhance meaning and well-being. There is substantial academic research supporting this view. See citations below.

For the coming months and years before a vaccine is developed and indeed in the post-pandemic world, which most forecasters predict will be economically testing, any actions to increase psychological well-being are worth promoting.

The following is a suggested Public Awareness message, which should be no longer than three minutes, and could be distributed on social media.

The ‘video selfies’ could be gathered using a ‘call-out’ via traditional and social media, with perhaps all those submitted to be used on an ‘Alternative Heroes’ website – montaged as still-frame images that one could click on to hear testimonials from both those who volunteered and those who were helped. A colour-based algorithm could define a pattern or it could be abstract. In large scale, the pattern could read ‘Thank You’ and be on a large screen advertisement or projected onto a building. I think that this would represent a meaningful and valuable message, reinforcing the actions of the volunteers.

It would also demonstrate in a profound way the state’s gratitude to those who showed pro-social behaviour. There is psychological research suggesting that the emphasis on virtuous actions elicits a stronger positive response than the criticism of negative actions. Consequently, this might act as a more general ‘example to follow’.

I anticipate such a ‘call-out’ for this purpose would generate plenty of material for the following advertisement.

I suggest using Prince William as a spokesman as he has a deep interest in and concern for such matters. In addition, his validation would be more meaningful to the public at large than a political spokesperson or a celebrity (even the wonderful Peter Crouch or superb Stephen Fry!)

THE VIDEO:


VOICE OVER:

IMAGES OF RAINBOWS IN WINDOWS, STAY SAFE SIGNS, PEOPLE IN ORDERLY QUEUES, CLAPPING ETC

During this period of crisis, the British people have stepped forward, stepped up and demonstrated indomitable spirit, impressive resilience and remarkable altruism.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I’ve been awe-struck and humbled by the patience, generosity and genuine compassion of the public. It’s been incredible. You’ve been incredible!

VOICE OVER:

IMAGES OF PEOPLE WITH SHOPPING ETC KNOCKING ON DOORS

Unprecedented numbers have volunteered to help the most vulnerable.

PERSONAL SELFIE VIDEOS:

‘I’ve been doing the shopping for the people in my village who can’t go out.’

‘I’ve been calling people who are isolated and alone on the phone – to make sure they’re ok and giving them the chance to have a natter.’

‘I’ve organised a group to collect prescriptions for those in our area who’ve been advised to stay at home.’

VOICE OVER:

IMAGES OF MORE PEOPLE SAYING WHAT THEY’VE DONE

All the thousands of volunteers have helped this country come through its biggest challenge in 60 years. They’ve made sure people have had food, medication and company. They’ve supported the heroic work of the NHS. And they’ve found a new sense of meaning and purpose.

PERSONAL SELFIE VIDEOS:

‘This has been amazing. It’s been wonderful to feel useful.’

‘I don’t think anything in my life has brought me a greater feeling of satisfaction.’

‘You know? I thought it would be like giving up my time, but it’s been as good for me as for the people I’ve been chatting to. I love it!’

PRINCE WILLIAM: There’s a great deal of evidence showing that helping others makes people happier. So, both those who get the vital help they need and the volunteers benefit. It’s a real win-win situation.

VOICE OVER:

IMAGES OF SMILING PEOPLE

Those of you who haven’t volunteered, still can – and remember, once this crisis is over, you don’t have to stop. Volunteering can bring real meaning to those who do it and significant practical and emotional support to those who need help.

PHONE VIDEOS IF POSSIBLE FROM THOSE HELPED:

‘She’s kept me going.’

‘He’s made my life much better that in would have been these past months.’

‘Without them, well, I don’t know how I’d have managed.’

‘We’ve become real friends. She’s an angel.’

TEXT GRAPHIC: VOLUNTEER – do good, feel good.

SOME RESEARCH SUGGESTING THE EFFECTS OF VOLUNTEERING ON WELLBEING

NAMKEE G. CHOI and JINSEOK KIM (2011). The effect of time volunteering andcharitable donations in later life on psychological wellbeing. Ageing and Society,31, pp 590-610 doi:10.1017/S0144686X10001224

David Mellor, Yoko Hayashi, Lucy Firth, Mark Stokes, Sue Chambers & Robert Cummins (2008) Volunteering and Well-Being: Do Self-Esteem, Optimism, and Perceived Control Mediate the Relationship?, Journal of Social Service Research, 34:4, 61-70, DOI: 10.1080/01488370802162483

Mellor, D., Hayashi, Y., Stokes, M., Firth, L., Lake, L., Staples, M., … Cummins, R. (2009). Volunteering and Its Relationship With Personal and Neighborhood Well-Being. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 38(1), 144–159. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764008317971

Kevin M. Brown, Russell Hoye & Matthew Nicholson (2012) Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, and Social Connectedness as Mediators of the Relationship Between Volunteering and Well-Being, Journal of Social Service Research, 38:4, 468-483, DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2012.687706

Jenkinson, C.E., Dickens, A.P., Jones, K. et al. Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health 13, 773 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-773

Willems, R.; Drossaert, C.; Vuijk, P.; Bohlmeijer, E. Impact of Crisis Line Volunteering on Mental Wellbeing and the Associated Factors: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1641.

Isabella Clarke

07796 143745

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page