About community volunteering

meeting

Qultura Core - the core of the Qultura community - doesn't post specific volunteering roles but it doesn't mean that we don't need community volunteers. What we have done instead is to develop a unique system of universal volunteering on our Community Message Board. If you're looking to do some community volunteering, this is a post about how to go about it.

What generally happens when it comes to volunteering

Generally what happens when you take on a volunteering role with some kind of organization - any kind of organization - you go through a recruitment process as if you are looking for paid employment, only the position is voluntary so there's no pay involved. You're just required to do certain tasks in a certain way and a fulfill a certain role and it's assumed that you're doing this because you love doing it or purely for the experience.

It's very easy to get yourself caught up in a contradiction and a kind of double bind situation that plays out frequently throughout society. You're expected or obliged to do something, but are also expected to do it spontaneously or voluntarily. Do you see the contradiction here? If something is voluntary, then surely it's meant to be spontaneous, right? But if you're obliged to do something by someone else, can it really be seen as voluntary?

This kind of volunteering might be okay for an organization or if you are seeking experience from that specific role and are happy to gain it from working for that organization, but all often organizations create volunteering and unpaid roles (such as internships) involving work which should be paid. This is a particular issue for young people in their teens and 20's who don't have work experience but who need some form of an income. This also can be an issue for people seeking work. This can so very easily lead to exploitation.

Back in 2014 - when we were still trying to become an organization - we were among the first to sign up to the Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign which was developed to counter 'Help to work' and Workfare, which as a community we've always been opposed to. When the Charities Commission turned down our second bid to become a registered charity in 2016 because they felt we were 'too community' - we refused to commit to a single 'charitable' mission - we decided to stop trying to be an organization and instead created a unique system of volunteering to avoid getting caught up in this fairly clear conflict of interest.

What is universal volunteering about?

Qultura Core is not an organization. It's the 'core' of the Qultura community. We can create a volunteering role but as we're not paying anyone if a role is genuinely voluntary we cannot place any expectations or obligations on whoever is doing the volunteering. All volunteering is based on a willingness to undertake certain roles and do certain things for the experience, because you get some kind of pleasure, or a sense of fulfillment or happiness out of what you are doing. Ultimately you are the final arbiter of what is meaningful and fulfilling when it comes to any volunteering role.

So what we do we create a number of 'base' roles based loosely on our needs as a community (these are shown below) and you figure out the specifics of the volunteering role for yourself, based on your interests, your experience, your aptitudes, your circumstances and when and how you can volunteer. This means when you become familiar with the needs of the community you can create your own volunteering roles and put forward proposals in the Qultura Core community on the Community Message Board.

We give you complete freedom over what roles you create and propose. You can create one specific role, you can create different roles, and you can mix and match different roles. Additionally you volunteer as and when you have the time, the energy and the desire to do some community volunteering. As everything is worked out in the Qultura Core community on the Community Message Board, or by email, what this means is all you need to do is log in to the Community Message Board or send an email to find out what's going on and then decide when and how you want to get involved.

To keep everything simple for everyone to remember, community volunteering in the Qultura community is about developing the community. The base roles are shown below.

Community support

We need community support volunteers who can be present at our dreamweaving workshops and meetings to provide community support for members of the community and those who participate in dreamweaving workshops and meetings. Much of this is down to being present and being there, listening to people, talking, providing emotional support, and signposting for those who need additional support elsewhere.

Community projects

We need community volunteers to help develop and maintain our existing community projects and maybe develop new ones. In addition to our dreamweaving workshops and meetings we also maintain a community library and from 2023 plan to develop a community Fringe theatre and hold drama workshops.

Virtual volunteering

We also have needs for virtual community volunteers for example as Community Message Board administrators and moderators, dealing with emails, information, and doing stuff online from home.

Content creation

We're also interested in hearing from people who are interested in content creation and developing the community through creating multimedia, podcasts, videos, blog posts, memes for social media and so on.

What we can offer is support, mentoring, guidance, and the usual stuff. If you need experience which can help you find paid work in a field we can help you out there or if you need a volunteering role which counts as jobseeking activity. In the past we have helped different people find paid employment.

But what we offer most of all is complete freedom and flexibility. Through our community you can be completely free from ever needing to apply for another volunteering position again in your life.

If you are interested

What we normally ask people to do if they want to get involved for the first time is to send us a message and we'll walk you through the process. Please note that you cannot become a community volunteer without first becoming a member of the Qultura community and being registered on the Community Message Board.

About Qultura

Qultura is a developing alternative dreamweaving community centred in Nine Elms, London, so 'Qultura' may refer to the Qultura community itself, Qultura methodology or Qultura Core, the core of the the community. Our community is freely accessible to all interested, completely free of charge to participate in and make use of, and welcomes everyone to our meetings, workshops and on our Community Message Board.