Am delighted that the Prime Minister wants to get rid of the endless red tape and jobs worth officials and their draconian rules, but Alas he has a very long way to go, so this is a moan for the policy makers and for the PM.s office! If any one ,who is in anyway connected with policy making is reading,then please take note!
Enticed by the “big society” pronounced by the PM I thought I will do my bit towards it! So I applied to join the “teenage Parents buddy scheme”. Where you be become a volunteer to meet the teen ager,listen to them and help to develop their confidence and self esteem, improve their awareness of sexual health/nutrition and child care etc; etc;. Having a nursing/ health education background and having raised two children, and being an active member of the community I thought I will be useful. Little did I know the hurdles I will have to jump.
A kind looking social worker arrived, and of course looked around my house, chatted to me and thought I will be good . Mind you at any stage the teenager and I will never meet in my house, the meetings will ALWAYS be in a public place. But anyway they wanted to see where and how I lived! The social worker was very complimentary of what she saw, so far so good!
Now to apply , the requirements were, birth certificate/ passport/ utility bill/and references.
Bur because I was not born in this country I will have to get a certificate of good conduct from the police of the town I was born in!!
Hang on, I moved to this country when I was 17, I or my family have had no dealings with police ever,how would they know who I am and even if they did,I have been here for 45 years or so, would anyone remember me?
Oh she said, I feel so strongly that you are the right person for this that I will put my job and line and fight that you should be exempt from this! I was impressed, but I was told that I will have to submit a few more documents which I did.
Bearing in mind that I have been CRB checked many times, as I do a lot of voluntary work, every time I do something am CRB checked, even if it is not at all necessary, like when I was helping the CVS (community voluntary service) to draft their publicity leaflets, I was doing it on my computer,and not in touch with anyone else,but that is another story!
Now consider that I have lived in the same town since 1972 ,only changed my name after getting married ,so there was not much to find out!
been a nurse in the local hospital for 25 odd years, been on the community health council, the BBC advisory council, the local health committee,the quality assessment group for the GPs, the PCT’ steering Commtt;, am an examiner for the Royal commonwealth Society.s annual essay competition, been the local hospital governor,and am on the county’s Independent Advisory group for the police! Oh and when our son was recruited to the civil service(ministry of defence) after he graduated from Oxford, I believe the MI5 had gone through his family background with a tooth comb,or whatever it is that they iuse!
Oh and I have been a HOST, a charity which places foreign students in your care for a weekend /holiday or Christmas, I have done that for last eight years,and have had hundreds of students so far come and spend the weekend with us.
Anyway,I submitted the application form, my neighbour who is the local GP offered to give me reference and so did a nursing friend who has known me for some thirty years.So I submitted the application some 4 weeks ago.
Now am told that just the bank statement is not enough there have to be utility bills in my name! Now the problem is that my husband pays all the bills via standing order, though it is a joint account but because he deals with it they all are in his name!
Oh and another “anomaly ” is that in my name there is an “h” instead of a “b”, which I have always declared, and in previous CRB checks have accepted it as I have explained it and put down as “aka”!
Now tell me what that has to do with giving some support to a lonely teenage ,pregnant girl, by meeting her once a week in a public place, or being available for her on the phone????
Now I have told them to s….it! I no longer want to help anyone!
So Dear Mr Cameron, before you put the “big society” together you better sort out the way one goes about being in one.