You have to understand that I'm a three year experienced Voluntary Community Leader - yet I was no one! Now I am known and our group is known - We have a branding - A branding that I profess - A branding I believe in.
Yet with Voluntary Community Leaders - most of them, on average are elderly (many retired). Yet are experienced community members acting for their relevant community - whether it be educational, community , transport or medical activists. All are working for the common good of communities, some affiliated to political parties and or independents, very little are neutrally politically associated.
Your group is made up by the people that become it's membership and although you lead the group, they lead the community. As a Leader of a transport lobby group, I face the community with a smile every day and would like this to be reflecting throughout the community. Each community has its bad apples and also its shining knights: that is the negatives and positives that come from within communities on a daily basis.
It is easy dealing the good, sharing the good and celebrating the good but when bad issues come, I feel ashamed what some parts of the community can do - to place us backwards.
I see it every day, graffiti on fences, bus stop, bus shelters and further anti-social events that displease the community. Yet, as I and our group is not responsible for the negative issues that arise. We cannot educate everyone the basics of leading a good community life.
This is the external part of being a Voluntary Community Leader and in the internal part of Leadership, there are battles, there are members that only stand for their own area and yet come together to support others.
You have to deal with everyone's emotions, feelings, excitement, issues and try to make each person be the piece of your picture jigsaw puzzle that makes the group how strong it is. You have to deal with people not being happy, suburb against suburb, bus service against bus service. There is sometimes people see power and and they want it and they take it!
So Community Voluntary Leaders sometimes have to deal with members who have issues other than the groups at heart and they want you to solve their problem, when there problem is not yours.
Community Voluntary Workers as sole workers that are unpaid, love what they do - talk to other community members and lobby for the improvements they want - sometimes they are unheard but overall they are rewarded once they obtain the positive result of fulfilling their needs.
Community Voluntary Workers can and will support Community Voluntary Leaders and one day itself may end up to be a Community Voluntary Leader itself. They can also resign, walkout and come back - if they feel are not supported by others or Community Voluntary Leaders or for any other purpose.
The only thing I will say is the reward is what I say to people everyday as Community Voluntary Worker or Leader, ' My reward is not getting paid but seeing one day (whether alive or not) many smiles on public transport commuters knowing that the work we done has been successful for them!'
For me, I have no insight to my Community Voluntary Leadership stopping at this near future as I want to see results for all to have and I would like members of our group to lead the group further and better then I have so far!