skip and looking after member welfare

Posted by James Conroy

Sun, 29 Apr 2012

One of two National Coordinators of SKIP. FY1 doctor based in Yorkshire.

It was raised this weekend at the Medsin Spring General Assembly that SKIP has been rather lacking on blog contributions. For this, we can only humbly apologise and promise to make amends. Starting now.

So hello! For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s James and I’m the National Volunteer Coordinator for SKIP. My role on the National Committee is simply to make sure SKIPpies are healthy and happy. I fight passionately to ensure we consider volunteer welfare in everything we do because I believe that the least we can do is promise to look after our members whilst they are carrying out our incredible work. Coordinating volunteers is something that I have a wealth of experience in, so if this is something you’d like a bit of a discuss about, please do get in touch.

I guess I probably need a theme to this blog entry that is a little bit more than just ‘who is James..?’, so I might as well go for member welfare because that is what I love. Looking after the welfare of the members of the network is really important if we want to have happy, productive branches and activities. This doesn’t require bylaws or legislation to do; it just requires network members to look out for one another. Most importantly, we have to remember that medsin members are volunteers – working for the organisation is not the day job and sometimes life will get in the way. Exams and essays tend to be the major life stresses for students, and often (because we are highly passionate people), we fail to turn around to our committees and flag up that we probably should be dedicating time to revision rather than the latest policy statement or conference or whatever.

SO if you are reading this and you’re currently on one of the many committees we have within medsin, here’s one little tangible piece of welfare action that I want you to do. At the next committee meeting, please ask around and find out when everyone’s major deadlines and exam dates are. And then make sure you plan ahead to reduce the medsin workload of members when they have exams and deadlines. In SKIP, we call them ‘SKIP holidays’ where we ensure people take protected time to do some university work. Without these holidays, I’m pretty sure I would have failed my course already.

On that note, I’m going to wrap up. I’m ten days away from my final exams and I’ve spent the weekend at the general assembly when I really should be revising. Holiday time..!

All the best,

And SKIP promises to do more blog updates from now on (I think you can expect one about the SKIP general assembly very soon),


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