Guardian Spotlight: Hélène
This month our guardian spotlight falls on Hélène, who has not only given a great deal of time to some brilliant causes but has also gone out of her way to help her friends and neighbours.
Hélène says: “Being part of the Dot Dot Dot community has opened up opportunities to me that I wouldn’t really have thought about before. It’s changed the way I think about where I live and the way that I see my role in my local neighbourhood and the city as a whole.
As well as continuing as a volunteer with 19 Princelet Street, Europe’s first museum of immigration and diversity (and probably London and the UK’s most beautiful historic building), being a Dot Dot Dot guardian has given me the opportunity and motivation to get involved with some other fantastic projects in London, such as The Arbour in Tower Hamlets as a Social Inclusion Mentor, and an exciting new initiative called LondonSOUP.
London SOUP is a community dinner and micro-funding project which aims to bring Londoners together to share a meal and raise funds for small, community-led projects in and for the city. The idea is pretty simple: at a SOUP event we come together to eat as a community, meet new people and hear from four different projects who in some way are seeking to create social good in the city. Whilst we eat some delicious soup, salad and bread (lovingly home-made by us volunteers, with the exception of the very generously donated bread), we talk to those around us about the projects, our values and what is important to us. Everyone then votes for the project they like the best and, at the end of the event, we donate our door takings to the project with the most votes. We recently had our first ever SOUP event and raised £300 for an amazing project called Just Bread, a fantastic new initiative developed to support the therapeutic and employment needs of refugee women in London and the UK by providing a place for them to meet, make friends, develop skills and learn to bake bread. Being able to hand over the money we raised to such a great project and hearing the round of applause for both of the projects who pitched, I think generated more tears amongst the volunteers than the twenty odd onions we peeled and chopped earlier in the day! We’re now all working hard to prepare our next SOUP event, which will be on Sunday 16th February at New Unity Hall in Islington. More details will be up on our website soon!”