November’s Guardian Spotlight: Eileen

Eileen Coneely picture

From tea dances for the elderly to London’s oldest pub theatre, this month we hear from Eileen, a guardian who has delivered over 70 hours of volunteering since August, who explains how Hands On London has helped her find and go great things in her spare time.

I’m not from London, and sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to figure out which way to look when crossing the street, let alone how to feel like I’m giving something meaningful back to this amazing city.

I’m not yet sure what types of organizations and causes I really want to devote myself to, which is why working with Hands on London has been such a help to me. They find volunteers for a wide range of charities that need varying commitment from their volunteers. Since becoming a guardian, this has allowed me to volunteer all over London on lots of different projects.

In the past few months I’ve volunteered with a disabilities charity, a pub theatre, a volunteer training school, a tea dance for the elderly, a women’s a cappella choir, and a homeless shelter. I’ve loved getting to learn new skills and explore London in ways I never would have imagined.

One organization I have really enjoyed working with is Livability, a charity that supports disabled adults. They are currently running The Home Design Appeal to renovate Kitchens and Bathrooms of disabled adults in London.

It’s pretty hard to imagine not being able to tasks like bathe yourself or make a cup of tea on your own, but for disabled people living in outdated homes, these indignities are part of everyday life.

Only 5% of homes in England are fully disability-friendly

Livability has been fundraising in hope to build moveable worktops and accessible wet rooms in homes of disabled Londoners to give the people they work with as much independence as possible.