Barnet gets ready for a right royal party!

Following on from yesterday’s post – about how the council will cover the insurance costs of royal wedding street parties held on April 29 – I notice that twelve people have already signed to hold a shindig via Barnet’s PledgeBank website.

This is a tremendous start. The street party pledge only appeared on the website yesterday, so the amount of early interest is a clear indication of how community minded we are in Barnet.

The UK has a fine tradition of commemorating momentous events with street parties – from VE day to the royal wedding of Charles and Diana – so get involved, register for your own event and celebrate with your neighbours, you’ll be helping to build a closer community too!

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3 Responses to Barnet gets ready for a right royal party!

  1. Julia Hines says:

    Hi Robert

    I am really interested in how you see Pledgebank working. I support street parties, as I think they do bring people together and raise social capital (ghastly bit of jargon but I presume you know what I mean). However, obviously you do not need a hand-crafted Pledgebank website just for a one off event.

    I am interested in a number of things:

    1. How you will measure the cost effectiveness of the site. Will you try and cost the value of the pledges?

    2. Will you be checking that pledges are fulfilled? If they aren’t what will you do about it? Who will do the checking and what will that cost?

    3. How will you manage the safeguarding risks? I am concerned that Pledgebank lends a veneer of respectability to people who may wish to exploit the vulnerable. By contrast, all Age UK Barnet’s volunteer befrienders are CRB checked, trained, and supported.

    I will be speaking at Middlesex University’s free conference on Equality and the Big Society on Friday 18 March. The conference is on 17-18 March . You can contact d.arden@mdx.ac.uk if you are interested in attending.

    I look forward to hearing your response.

    With best wishes

    Julia

  2. robertrams says:

    Hi Julia

    Barnet PledgeBank has been set up support any pledges made by Barnet residents. The site isn’t only for royal wedding street parties, I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear in my original post.

    We don’t intend to assess the monetary value of pledges as such. We believe the true value of PledgeBank is achieved through connecting people who want to do something with other people who can help. Our role is to provide a forum to facilitate this process.

    We will monitor pledges and we’ll contact pledge creators if their pledge is reaching its expiry date without attracting sufficient interest. I believe that by helping someone to get together with other people with similar intentions, we are greatly increasingly the likelihood of a pledge being successful.

    I understand your concerns about safeguarding and Barnet Council have made a commitment to provide CRB checks where necessary.

    I’m sorry, but due to other commitments, I wasn’t able to come and hear you present. It sounded like an interesting conference, I do hope it went well.

    Regards

    Robert

  3. Julia Hines says:

    Thanks for responding Robert. I do get that Pledgebank is for more than Wedding parties. I just wonder whether this is the most cost-effective way of supporting volunteering. If the quoted £30K cost is correct, that would probably provide a couple of part-time volunteer managers to train, support and supervise volunteering.

    Barnet would not give that kind of money to a Third Sector organisation without wanting to see targets met. I am not against trying new things to see if they take off, but I am reasonably confident that if one of your voluntary sector partners had suggested this, it would either not have been funded or only be funded by with targets attached.

    I also think that people volunteer for causes they care about, like Barnet Mencap, or Finchley Rugby Club, but they will never love you because they pay you council tax. Asking Community Barnet to host it, and linking straight through, might have been better.

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