The other night someone knocked on my door, he claimed to be from Barnardos but looking at his ID (And I did look at his ID) it transpired that he was actually from a company employed by Barnardos to do this work.
I don’t disagree with charities trying to raise funds but I do have a problem with the way that they approach it.
When I answered the door he didn’t start with
‘Hi my name is …. I would like to talk to you about Barnardos and the great work that they do and how they support people in your area’
Which I feel would be the right way to start this conversation, no he opened with
‘Do you have children?’ ‘Do you care about your children?’ and then ‘Would you do anything to protect your children?’
I find this line of questioning insulting, everyone cares for their children. I won’t be made to feel like a bad parent because I am not willing to give money to a charity. I give money to NAS and some small local charities, tbh I am all charity’d up, I don’t have anything else I am willing to give.
I will not give money to or set up any form of direct debit with anyone who knocks on my door regardless of who they are or what a great service they do for people, but with the right approach I may be willing to listen.
I know for a fact that Barnardos do some great work, but I also know that the majority of that work is actually funded by local authorities. Barnardos is a massive multi-million pound organsation and not a small charity like they would like you to believe.
There was a support worker from Barnardos at my sons pre-school but she was a paid employee, Barnardos had a contract with the local auth to provide that valuable service.
When my son had a CAF done at preschool, Barnardos provided someone to take the notes and support the process, this person was also a paid employee, also paid for by a contract with the local authority.
The sibling support service and the short breaks service are both also paid services that are paid for by a contract with the local authority. Again these are invaluable.
A child who is placed with Barnardos foster carers hasn’t been placed with volunteers, those carers are paid employees, Barnardos invoices the local authority for this care.
Now I have singled out Barnardos because that was who knocked on the door, but they are not the only ones that do this, I have had Action for Children do the same thing in the past, they also have contracts with local authorities, and don’t get me started on the religious people who try and sell you their religion on the doorstep.
I am not belittling anything that these organisations do, all of the support and services that they provide are invaluable, but I do feel that they need to have a little word with the people that are knocking on doors. There is a right way and a wrong way to approach people and trying to guilt people into giving money is not the right way.