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Dunscroft Community Organiser- Dave blown out at start line !

Well it seemed too good to be true, a new position in the community, organising the community in which I live, doing many of the things I have been in fact doing for the last twenty five years but actually being paid.

Now that the Mining Community Advice Centre is closing in Sept., for lack of funds, this seemed to drop just right. For the first time in my experience, money raised for deprived mining communities and to help regenerate mining communities could actually be usefully employed through this post. First of course I would need to get the job. I was warned ‘Dave, when have you ever known one of these positions actually go to a former miner ?’ And the truth is I never had. None the less, a graduate from three major academic institutions, Oxford, Glasgow and Keele, a published researcher who has researched and written a dozen books on pit communities in general and this one in particular, with an BA an MA and Diploma’s and Certificates of all sorts. Forty years working in the mines living in coal communities mostly Dunscroft. Twenty five years as a branch official of the local NUM serving the people of Dunscroft. Ten years a welfare rights advisor bringing hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits and compensation into Dunscroft and other areas. Ten years of close intimate assistance to the most troubled and socially deprived people of the area. Organising gala’s, socials, and the hand over the Welfare grounds of Stainforth and Dunscroft from Hatfield to CISWO and then Council care. Surely ,there couldn't be many other candidates with a CV like that, living a hundred yards from the Organiser HQ, and known to the whole community as an organiser and advisor ? Well who knows, I didnt even get short listed ! I was tripped at the post ! I didnt even get to know I hadn't been selected at all until I enquired from them. I am waiting for some ‘advise on why your application failed Mr Douglass’ which should be interesting. Meantime I sincerely wish whoever gets the post good luck, I have of course no idea who it could be, and there is nothing personal intended in this reflection, but ten to one its neither a miner, or a former miners wife, or daughter. I hope I am proved wrong, maybe the short list contains half a dozen people whose involvement in Dunscroft as a Community makes my experience look like a novice in which case my observations will be wide of the mark . Time will tell I suppose.

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