Reach is running an ambitious national campaign urging voluntary groups and volunteers to change the story we tell about humanity. The #ChangeTheStory campaign aims to challenge the perception that people are primarily driven by ‘selfish’ values such as power and wealth. It is a celebration of the humanity that exists in the world with a focus on the compassionate values that motivate people to volunteer.
Janet Thorne, CEO of Reach, explains: “The simple truth is that most of us care deeply about one another and the world around us. At Reach, we see thousands of volunteers regularly give their time and their skills, to help others. And yet every day, we receive messages from our workplaces, from advertising and politics, and popular culture that people are primarily driven by ‘selfish’ values. The story we tell ourselves about what it means to be human is important. Let's #ChangeTheStory. Together, we will change the world.”
Robust research to support campaign
The campaign is based on robust research (validated for biases) by the Common Cause Foundation which found that 74% of people in the UK place greater importance on values like kindness, helpfulness and equality than values like wealth, achievement and ambition. However, most of us (77%) tend to underestimate others, assuming that people are more likely to place more importance on self-interested values than on values of justice and care. This misperception (also known as the ‘perception gap’) holds people back from playing their part in addressing society’s issues like inequality and the climate crisis.
A call to action for volunteers
As part of the campaign, volunteers are being encouraged to help create a more accurate picture of humanity by participating in a social media takeover throughout January. Volunteers from across the UK are being urged to share their story and talk openly about the compassionate values that motivate them to volunteer using the hashtag #ChangeTheStory.
The campaign is being run in with Action for Trustee Racial Diversity UK, Association of Chairs, Charity Retail Association, Charterpath, Common Cause Foundation, Getting On Board, Global Action Plan, Go Parks London, Inspiring Scotland, The Jewish Volunteering Network, Scottish Badgers, SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations), Volunteering Matters and The Commemoration Hall Huntingdon.
To find out more and get involved, please visit the #ChangeTheStory campaign webpage.