Letter to 3rd Sector regarding OrangeCorps

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.

Kind regards,

Sean Cobley
Director, AVM

One thought on “Letter to 3rd Sector regarding OrangeCorps

  1. Thanks for sending this Sean, you make some very valid points about the incentivising of volunteering. I guess that RockCorps would argue that it is about getting young people to have a meaningful experience that they may want to repeat on an ongoing basis. I am not sure that 4 hours is enough to get a young person engaged – what do others think?? Debbie Usiskin

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