Friday, 25 March 2011
Big Soc. Dilemmas Part 3: No Office
We are being evicted from our office. We thought we had negotiated a rent reduction after the Council cut our grant by £10,000 but the landlord has changed his mind as he has had a better offer. At first he said we had to go by the end of the month but he has now extended this to the end of May. So four organisations are looking for a new home. The practical lot have huge amounts of kit, including boxes of muddy boots, electric chain saws and a forest of young trees growing in posts which have become a bit irritating as insects are roosting in them which often fly round the office. The arty lot have an enormous photocopier which doesn't work very well, a 1930s sideboard and a lot of elderly volunteers who can't climb stairs. The posh lot have a polished wooden dining table and lots of display boards with photos of graveyards they have renovated. We are currently the youthful lot (apart from me) as we have 3 young men entrusted to us by a scheme from the last Government called "The Future Jobs Fund". The Future Jobs Fund is now a deceased scheme and is being replaced by the more prosaically named "The Work Programme". The young men are supposed to be getting experience of working for an innovative environmental organisation practising their skills in social media, "nudge" (the Big Soc. name for getting people to do what you want) and "commissioning" (which is all about public sector bodies offering you about an eighth of the market rate to do something but pretending that Tescos and NPower are bidding against you). I worry that our innovative organisation will have to scale new heights when we relocate to the local park because we can't find affordable desk space indoors, but the young men point out that this won't be a problem as they all have "dongles". What a relief.