Volunteers' Week: Alejandra

3 June 2020

Volunteers' Week: Alejandra

During Volunteers’ Week, 1 - 7 June, we’d normally be able to thank all of our volunteers in person. However, because of the current crisis, we’re not able to see everyone so it’s even more important to let volunteers know how much we value them and to say Thank You. Without these volunteers our local organisations would find it much harder to deliver their activities and connect with the community.

This week, we're highlighting a handful of those volunteers and sharing their experience of volunteering for Brent 2020.

1. What motivated you to volunteer for Brent 2020?
I'm from Colombia and I came to London 9 months ago as a Volunteer worker in a small charity organisation located in Kilburn, It's called The OK Club. My goals were to learn about English culture, practice my language skills and help people from around the world. With the young people in my organisation, we took part in workshop run by Brent 2020. Looking to do some volunteer work in this country, as part of my professional development and to improve my life skills, I signed up as a Brent volunteer and now I'm really excited to be part of it.

2. Describe briefly what role(s) you've had and what you've been doing and how for how long?
Before the current crisis, my volunteer work was full time at The Ok Club. My roles are to organise and plan activities for the children and youth people involved in our club. We create different plays for them and we spend all the afternoon together. We also teach some of them basic maths and english, as well as life skills. I also manage the social media; posting photos and videos of our kids.

3. How has that changed (if it has) since the advent of Covid-19 and the lockdown?
Before the outbreak I used to work Monday to Friday, 8 hours per day. When we closed, we continued the activities through our social media; posting all the sessions on Instagram.

4. What have you got out of the experience of volunteering? Have you developed any particular skills, used or developed particular experience, tried something new, made new connections, got a new job / changed career etc?
This experience is a complete challenge for me. The first was to come to a different country with a different language and needs. Although this work has taught me to work with others and always thinking about the well-being of our kids. I've met marvelous people and I've learnt to be more patient. Thanks to this experience I now know people from around the world and I am more confident about myself and who I am.

5. How would you describe your Brent in 3 - 5 words
Brent is Multicultural - Joyful - Friendly – Homely

6. Tell us anything else you think is relevant!
To be a volunteer is something that is needed in the life of a human being. This way you learn to think of others. A volunteer programme helps a person in the self-reflective process. Thinking "Who I am", "What can I do for others" and "What makes me happy in life".