Comment on the Boycott Workfare campaign
12 July 2012
Commenting on the Boycott Workfare campaign, Andrew Adair, Director of Retail at the disability charity Scope said:
“We are extremely disappointed to see that people are protesting about our charity shops’ use of volunteers. Our shops provide a vital source of income to fund our work with disabled people and we would not be able to offer services such as our free information and advice helpline without them.
“We share their concerns about people being forced into volunteer placements under the threat of having their benefits taken away. And we agree a forced work placement is not a volunteer placement at all.
“However, we know many people want to work but often lack the skills, experience and confidence to find a job. And we believe that the chance to volunteer in our charity shops offers an opportunity for people to learn retail and customer service skills, build confidence and establish working routines.
“To ensure we can be confident that no individual has been forced or coerced into volunteering with Scope, we have developed a robust placement agreement that we will use for every new volunteer.
“Together with the volunteer and any agencies who are involved, we will clarify motivations for volunteering, ensure mutual benefits for the individual and Scope are agreed upfront and ensure the volunteer fully understands what the placement will entail.”