I wanted to share with you a letter I sent to Third Sector in response to the interview in last Weds (20th Aug) issue in case it doesn’t get published. I’d welcome your thoughts!:
I read with interest your interview with Stephen Green, Chief Executive of RockCorps.
While thinking the RockCorps concept is an interesting and innovative idea in introducing young people to volunteering I am left feeling a little troubled about incentivising volunteering in this way. If young people are more willing to give than ever as Mr Greene states, why then to they need to be offered concert tickets to volunteer? Volunteering shouldn’t be about personal material gain.
It would be interesting to find out how many of the 35% who went on to volunteer elsewhere did so without being offered something material in return. While I understand that the idea is to introduce young people to volunteering, can 4 hours really give them a proper idea of what it is really like to be an active citizen?
Offering concert tickets in this way would also seem to be a payment in kind and of sufficient value to be a “consideration”. Is this not an overt contract as the work is in exchange for the tickets which is clearly expressed and acknowledged by RockCorps? Legislation and good practice is different in the US and wonder if this model needs adapting for the UK.