Social Care in Japan – Kate’s blog No.2

Find out about Kate’s trip to learning about social care in Japan – it’s day 2!

Here’s the second update from Kate as she seeks to find out more about social care in Japan

Today things had to get serious. Less than 24 hours after arriving it was time to attend the welcoming ceremony and find out what I was actually doing here!

Despite getting 60 pages of notes and being told I would be doing a presentation or two, a few institutional visits and taking part in a management forum with all 4 countries involved, as we entered the reception room and sat at our designated seats behind the British flag, our name badges, and folders I turned to the guy next to me and said what an earth did someone from a little punk charity in Brighton get invited to this for? It looked like we were about to speak in the United Nations.

Social Care in Japan

I’ve been incredibly fortunate since I started working at Stay Up Late and have been abroad several times but always in a supportive role, helping a participant with a learning disability access an event. Suddenly I was in a room with 40 people in my most formal outfit (I still had a shirt covered in bow ties and my Stay Up Late badges attached to my suit jacket with a leather collar) we stood to applaud members of the Japanese cabinet office.

Social Care in Japan

The opening speech included figures from ‘World Giving Index’ from the Charities Aid Foundation.

In the UK people are much more likely to donate their money than their time – UK come 4th in the world for donating money, and Japan 83rd. Where as for donating time, UK come 28th, with Japan not far behind at 44th. Most people who volunteer their time in Japan are older, usually retired and young people say they are too busy to volunteer due to demanding jobs.

A project like Gig Buddies is more likely to engage this age group due to most of the volunteering happening outside of regular working hours. Part of the work I will be doing here will be looking at how to make volunteering more attractive. The earthquake disaster in 2011 changed many peoples attitudes to volunteering – NPO’s popped up everywhere and peoples enthusiasm to help victims of the quake meant donations went up but this has dwindled in the last 3 years. Retaining volunteers interest is a challenge we all face. Rural areas are suffering the most from lack of people’s engaged in the community.

Social Care in Japan

The focus of this years program is countries sharing ideas of how to make volunteering more attractive welfare workplaces and we have been put to work straight away to present on this topic to the rest of the delegates. I feel projects like gig buddies are good case study examples of how volunteering made fun and easy can inspire people to then go on to work in the care sector and look forward to sharing this with the group.

Social Care in Japan







Check out the next instalment here

Read more about Kate’s trip here


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