Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wordpool ~ Blackpool's Literature Festival ... Risk Assessment ...

I'm really quite pleased to think that Blackpool now has a literature festival in its 5th year. [Risk Assessment] I went along to the first meeting last week to volunteer my services. [Risk Assessment] There was a good attendance of positive, interested and creative people. [Risk Assessment] Organisers, Arts/Council co-ordinators and Librarians were well prepared, had clear plans, venues, themes, ideas and welcomed new ideas, fitting them willingly into the agenda. [Risk Assessment] Volunteers offered their services [Risk Assessment], venues [Risk Assessment] and materials [Risk Assessment].

I really couldn't count the amount of times and by how many people 'Risk Assessment' had been menitoned but it felt like safety precautions with OCD. Of course, everyone wants to be safe. That makes sense. But Risk Assessment seems to scare people in the workplace into senseless over-prioritising, worrying about being blamed, claims, being sued or even getting the sack [people can't be sacked can they?]. As Risk Assessment is taken to the 'n'th degree and there becomes no time or place left to expand, create, imagine or invent, what will happen not only to our children's thought processes but their survival skills?

During the Wordpool meeting, where everyone was squashed into an extremely tiny space directly next to a burning hot radiator, around a table, with a hot water dispenser in the middle, an imbalanced screen squashed up against us, [which could have fallen over onto the library visitors] limiting leg space and presenting the opportunity for cramp or even DVT; two medium-sized children were play-fighting on the floor. Nobody asked or suggested the children stop, be careful, move away to a safer place or be quiet ! And so, they carried on ... Hey ho.

Luckily, we all survived the first meeting of the year and I'm looking forward to planning the Wordpool Festival of Words during the week 5th - 12th November next.


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