A month in the life of a Dot Dot Dot guardian

Guardianship is a new concept to lots of people and from the outside it can seem intimidating or strange. At Dot Dot Dot we don’t believe it has to be this way. Many of our staff have been guardians and the following ‘month in the life’ is a representative story of what it’s like being a Dot Dot Dot guardian. We hope it’s helpful and would be happy to answer any questions you have arising from it.

I’m excited to have recently moved into my new home in Canning Town, east London. Being able to afford my own flat and save money in the process is something I never thought possible in London, so I want to make the most of it.

One of the things that drew me to guardianship was the chance to get creative and make a place my own. High up on my to-do-list upon moving in was to get rid of the unstylish wall colour. Some tins of white paint and a few days later, the dated walls were gone and it instantly felt like a different flat – I now had a blank canvas which I could begin to put my own stamp on. I’ve since been enjoying looking into low-cost ways to decorate my place and have found a sofa, coffee table and bookcase using Freecycle that I’ve arranged to collect this week.

When I first saw the flat at a viewing, I loved the big windows in my living room that let in lots of light. I did notice that in one of the corners there’s a gap which creates a small leak when it rains. I emailed my Relationship Coordinator, Liz, last night and she let me know this morning that it can be repaired over the next few days. I’ll speak to my manager at work to find out when is best for me to be at home to allow access, and then let Liz know who’ll arrange it for me. It gives me peace of mind to know that Dot Dot Dot are there for me if things go wrong.

Getting to know my neighbours has been a great experience. What began as a stranger helping me move boxes into my new home and offering me a cup of tea, has now turned into a promising friendship that has helped me to integrate into my community. It’s wonderful how guardianship has introduced me to people of all ages, ethnicities and cultures in my neighbourhood. Seeing other Dot Dot Dot guardians doing great volunteering inspires me to think about the difference that I want to make in my area.

Now I’ve settled in, I’ve been looking through my volunteering handbook for tips on how to get started. I want to find the right organisation for me where I can make a real difference so I’m glad that Dot Dot Dot give guardians three months’ to build up to 16 hours of volunteering a month. They’ve sent me a volunteer report form to complete so I’ll detail the charities I’ve contacted – next month I’ll be able to write more as I’ll be an active volunteer!