Friday, October 02, 2009

Darby: we must raise tenants' calibre

Sam, thanks for noticing. You are a pet... For a start, time is of the essence and that tome probably took half an hour. I have, in my short time as an adult on this earth, done a considerable amount of work for two voluntary organisations local to where I live. I presided over the local arts festival: - becoming a charity and was Chair for four years. So I became Trustee of a charity for a while. I stood down three years ago due to other commitments. The other organisation I volunteered for: - I set up with a £5K grant I got from UnLtd I was chair of that for four years too. I stood down two years ago because of other commitments - one of which was setting up the Fair Pint Campaign - the other was my family. These commitments have all revolved around my work at my pub, sorry I mean S&NPEs, sorry I mean RBS's pub; The Sun and Doves, where we serve spirits that are quality but not high profile brands and do a very good wine list.

In ten years or so I have spent thousands of hours volunteering for all sorts of things and, quite frankly have been too tired most of the time to really appreciate the benefit of the successes of the effort, I'd rather have been doing something else really, like following a hobby, or earning money. But the work I've done has helped Camberwell and that helps my business and, vicariously me and my family and staff and friends and customers who live in the area. If anyone else had done it before me I would rather have followed than take the lead but when something obviously needs to be done, and you can see a way of getting there, it's pointless hoping and waiting for someone else to come along and do it for you because that's likely not to happen.

Now then. Having made a statement in passing which might be interpreted by snipers as my blowing off about me being the one who set up Fair Pint - to clarify that's NOT what I was implying. Fair Pint is, in my experience, a unique joint effort. The wonderful thing about Fair Pint is that it was set up by eight people - together. If you took any one of those people out of the initial mix it's very unlikely that it would have got off the ground. It's the most exciting thing I've ever been involved in. And, by the way, as Stephen Docking got it neatly... it's all VOLUNTARY on the steering group's part and we ALL work REALLY hard at it.

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