Guardians commit to volunteering for 16 hours each month. But like many others, one of our east London guardians goes above and beyond this to create a positive impact locally and much further afield too.
When we caught up with Annie G about how she’s volunteering over the winter period, it became immediately clear that volunteering forms a huge part of who she is.
Local and international impact
Annie G was a dedicated volunteer long before she became a guardian. Since joining Dot Dot Dot in June, she’s contributed 140 hours of her time to causes she’s passionate about. This winter, Annie G’s volunteered with schools in east London, taking children to pantomimes.
“Each month, I enjoy getting involved with different initiatives,” she tells us. “Earlier in the year, I ran wellbeing sessions during Black History month. I volunteer not because I have to, but because helping others brings me joy. It fulfills me.”
But the impact of her volunteering extends beyond the local community to Ghana where she set up a charity a couple of years ago.
“I visited Ghana for the first time three years ago. I met a young girl, a teenager, who was pregnant. She had no one,” explains Annie G. “I have a background in psychology and experience in the charity industry so she reached out to me for support. This experience led me to set up a Ghanaian based charity called Hope for Teens.”
Hope for Teens
Annie G now takes yearly trips to Ghana. Day-to-day, she runs the charity from her guardianship flat in east London.
“Hope for Teens works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Accra,” she explains. “A huge focus of ours is supporting girls who have experienced abuse and/or teenage pregnancy. We’re now helping 200 and 300 girls back into education.”
“Our focus has been supporting girls. But last month, we launched a programme for young boys in Accra which encourages discussions about mental health. I’ve been supporting from the UK by facilitating webinars and collecting donations. ”
The Christmas Programme
With Christmas just around the corner, Hope for Teens is running programmes to teach young people about safe sex and wellbeing during the holiday season.
“At this time of year, we also reward our young people who have excelled,” Annie G says. “For example, we will give presents to the girls who have started back at school or passed exams.”
“From the 18th December, Hope for Teens also runs a soup kitchen for children who are experiencing homelessness. Although we don’t have facilities to offer them a place to stay, the children can have a hot meal and spend the day with us.”
Helping One Person Everyday
Annie G explains that the Hope in Hope for Teens is actually an acronym for Helping One Person Everyday.
“I am a humanitarian,” she says. “Volunteering makes me happy. I do it because it’s who I am. Living as Dot Dot Dot guardian helps me to fulfill my purpose.”
“My work with Hope for Teens is not about saving the world; but we strive to help one person everyday, and that’s what hope is.”
At Dot Dot Dot, we’re proud to provide housing to people like Annie G – someone that embodies our mission to improve lives.
You can visit the Hope for Teens website here.