Starting up a new project – Inter-Voice
How it Started
Soon after becoming a guardian I searched for volunteering opportunities on-line. I found out about UpRising, a programme that helps 19-25 yrs develop leadership skills through taking part in social action. I got on the programme where I met 30 great young people from East London. We went away and thought of ideas that would have positive impacts in our local community.
At the time I was tutoring a boy in Poplar who kept showing up late for our sessions. He told me all about how he interpreted for his mum, who speaks very little English. Once he was really late and it turned out he was interpreting at the solicitors for his mum’s immigration case. ‘Heavy stuff!’ I thought, ‘what can I do to help?’
Back in the group we discussed this situation, it resonated with the other members as they had all interpreted for their families in the past. In our research we found that there weren’t any similar projects or organisations that tackle the issue. We decided to go for it!
We decided on creating some workshops that would support young people’s technical interpreting skills, as well as building on the young people’s transferable skills gained through interpreting.
After pitching the idea to whoever would listen, we got some great feedback and were awarded funding from O2 Think Big and UnLtd support from The Young Foundation’s The Accelerator.
We went around contacting all kinds of people, like academics, health trainers, interpreting tutors and youth clubs. We met some amazing people who have helped us on our way! Special mention to Attlee Youth and Community Centre, our venue for the project and our fabulous community interpreting tutor Akgul.
In June we delivered one taster session and four workshops that seven young interpreters attended. Finally there was a celebration evening where the young people were awarded with certificates from guest speakers.
We were recently invited to give a presentation about Inter-Voice in Parliament as well as a trip to Number 10, where David Cameron asked us about the project.
Following the success of our pilot, we are looking at developing and ways of becoming sustainable in the future.