As you know I did work on a voluntary basis for Parkview Neighbourhood Watch and represented the estate and area at the SNT Bethnal Green North panel and also were on the Police and Community Safety Board and participated in the Stop & Search Panel from the Met Police and MPA.
unfortunately and due to employment legislation I have to stop doing all these voluntary posts, due to the fact that I am not allowed to volunteer more than 16 hours per week.
I have been put on a back-to-work program and that already takes up 16 hours per week. So as long as I am unemployed and need to find a job, I cannot do any voluntary work. Once I have a job, and then still have the time to do it, I can carry out voluntary positions or alternatively I’ll have to wait until I retire in a few years time, which ever is earlier.
In my case the Department for Work and Pension does not accept my voluntary work with and for the police and the community as counting towards work finding activity. I am a little surprised about this because we are being told that society relies on volunteers to give their time and that people should volunteer for their benefit but in my case, the DWP just wants me to participate in work finding exercises and will put me on a work placement and won’t allow me to continue on the Neighbourhood Watch and pay me my JSA.
I have heard that many local volunteers have the stark choice to stop volunteering and claim benefits or to live off the wages from their husbands. Well I am a single parent and so have no choice but to comply with DWP requirements.
It has been great fun to work for the local community but I am not certain how that will affect the future of the Parkview Neighbourhood Watch and also I am not certain whether the meeting on 13 September is going to go ahead. I suggest you contact the local SNT and ask them if you wish to have more information about this.