To want to be aknowledged for voluntary work?(10 Posts)
I volunteer at a community centre. Recently i have been feeling more and more invisible. I and another Mum set up a Toddler Group which has been running for 4 years now. 2 years ago another mum C joined and when the other mum left offered to help run. Now it is Cs Toddler Group - everyone calls it that, tells C how marvelous she is to keep it going all these years and go to C for any decsions on funding/new equipment.
3 years ago i sourced funding to create a mini allotment to be used accross all the groups that use the centre. I built the allotment and brought groups together. 2 years ago i had a baby and C offered to help manage the allotment. Now its Cs garden and i get told off for doing things in her Garden :-0. Finial straw was a week ago when i was chatting to a Trustee of the centre about applying for more funding as the garden is popular and we need more beds. He told me not to worry C would sort it out as it was her project and he doubted i was capable of filling in funding applications He was around 3 years ago so knows i got the original funding.
Its clearly an issue with me as its happened at school as well. 4 years ago my dds school opened as a Reception/year 1 class and have grown one year at a time. From the begining i voluntered; on the PTA, as a dinner lady/playground superviser, going in to read with kids. C joined the school with her dds 3 years ago and R joined 2 years ago. 2 years ago when i had the baby i stopped everything bar the PTA. C and R joined the PTA at this point and now it is their group - they make all the descions and i find out afterwards. There is a breakfast event on Sat which i have offered help with but been delibertly kept out of meetings sorting out details. R has been awarded a holiday by the school.for establishing the first PTA of the school and giving more time than any other parent. That first year i was in helping 3 days a week.
Ironically i don't actually want a round of applause or prizes. I just want to be aknowledged as an equal in these projects - to be involved in decsions and allowed to volunteer at events. AIB petty?
Speak up then every time it happens. You don't have to be aggressive about it, say it with a wry smile or laugh and say, oy, that was me you know! Acknowledge it and say C came in x years after I set it up, didn't you know that!
Life is too short. The great thing about volunteering is that you can say what you like as you can't be fired.
Write to the board of trustees saying that as you have been insulted by one trustee , stating the facts . ask for an apology and more involvement. If they won't do it, stop helping and just use. Take your talents elsewhere.
Walk away. Give your kind time and effort to another cause. I am on the verge of doing the same myself. Life's too short.
Exactly the same thing happens to me. I do a lot of donkey work but somehow end up invisible.
The way I deal with it now is to politely step away. In your case I would do that and give anything involving 'Queen C' a wide berth. Perhaps it is time for a change anyway?
I don't think it's you, I think it's C
I would organise something else to volunteer then leave C to it! She can't follow you because she already has a lot on with your previous projects. Organise something first though so you don't just stop volunteering, because that's easy to do and why should your community miss out and why should you be stuck at home. It also means you can't be guilted in to staying/going back "sorry, I got the message loud and clear that C can do it without me...other than setting things up like I did in the first place of course...and that I was surplus to requirement. I wouldn't want to get in her way" smile
You get C's
bitches in all walks of life.
Even if you start something up elsewhere, there will be another C who wants to take over and kick everybody else to the kerb.
The only way to deal with them is to speak up.
It is galling when bosses (who should know better) are taken in by their charm/sly ways. You would think that a boss would see through this ass licking behavior, but they don't always.
A similar thing happened to me in the past, I stuck with it for a while because I was heavily emotionally involved in the volunteering.
I tried challenging all the misconceptions but it was wearing me down, I ended up feeling a bit shit about it all to be honest.
In the end I had to walk away, the people who thought that they were running things realised that in fact I was doing the vast majority of the work but quietly and in the background and it all turned into a bit of a disaster. They tried to get me to go back but I refused and the project I spent a lot of hours on over two years is now just a sad watered down version.
I don't think that I'm anything special and that no one else couldn't have done it but I don't think that anyone else had the same passion or was willing/ able to put in the same amount of effort.
I've moved on and volunteer with a different organisation I'm happy but no longer invest so much of myself as a consequence of my previous experience.
I did read the title and think that volunteering is a pretty thankless task most of the time, but in your situation I think it's different and if someone is going to be acknowledged and thanked then it should be you!
If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always got - things aren't going to change until you change them, if they don't appreciate you then go find somewhere that does
But before you leave come up with some bright ideas that everyone supports but that involve a lot of effort being needed to see them through. Then keep in touch with them so you can see how C struggles when she actually has to do something
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