Latest Blog from Alan Hatton-Yeo(3)

October 30, 2012

It's not always the conference speakers that make you stop and think: sometimes it's the questions that come from the floor. I'd just had the privilege of speaking to the Older People's Assembly in London City Hall. During the question time that followed, a member of the audience recalled the large number of societies, organisations and opportunities that were around when he was younger - and went on to ask if I believed that the likelihood of such help and support would ever exist again. Whilst responding, I was acutely aware of how volunteering has changed over the years.Why is that? Surely it still delivers benefits to both volunteers and recipients? Is it because we are all too busy, work longer hours and no longer have enough time, as the questioner went on to suggest? Or is it the negative impact of risk management and regulatory red tape that's putting people off? Whatever's caused the changes, I'm hoping that the success of this year's Olympics will be catalyst for a sea change in people's attitudes to involvement and volunteering. We all, and older people in particular, need much more than "Facebook" for successful social networking. We need to spend more time looking out for each other and lending a physical - not virtual - hand. Alan Hatton-YeoChief Executive

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