Volunteers' Week: Ayelen

4 June 2020

1. Why did you volunteer for Brent 2020.
I moved to London about 1.5 years ago. Once I got settled, I decided that I wanted to volunteer. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people, to know the city, to build your career and social life. Brent came to mind because they have a very strong programme. I have volunteered before for cultural organisatoins in Argentina. I am part of an international group for the arts and culture. I want to make an impact in arts and culture. Brent 2020 had a lot of things to offer.

I’m also a photographer.

2. What have you been doing so far?
Covid happened, so they had to restructure a few things. I started my first volunteer work a month ago. Now I’m working with Youth Club Archive. The organisation is about bringing the photography of the past to the present. Helping people connect with their culture and their past. One of their issues is getting awareness, so I’m helping to spread the word about their projects and opportunities to participate in what they do. I’m also helping to curate the photos; contacting people about how to get involved. Due to Covid-19 it’s been an increasing problem to get to people without internet access, as no public spaces are open. We have to think of different ways to reach them.

3. What have you got out of volunteering?
It builds a sense of responsibility and belonging and a sense of passion that is unique to volunteering. It can be contagious! It’s very satisfying. You make new connections, helps to build networks with people who have shared interests. And eventually it can support your career. Working with Brent 2020, you get to work with arts.

4. How would you describe Brent?
It’s super-diverse which makes it so strong culturally. Alive. Rich. You can’t pin it down.

5. Anything else?
Volunteering is so fulfilling, I’d encourage anyone to try it. It’s very flexible, it can work around you. It’s a good opportunity to put your skills to use and learn new skills in a relaxed way. It gives you perspective.