Spotlight on Kahina

April 27, 2016

Kahina has thrown herself into volunteering during her time with Dot Dot Dot and has spent over 50 hours giving back to the local community. She has worked with young people on a mentoring project and with other guardians on the Divest Bexley climate campaign. She described moving to this area as ‘the best thing that’s happened to her in a long time!’

The linkHere’s what she has to say about being a guardian:

‘I moved to Abbey Wood in November as a new Dot Dot Dot guardian. What made me choose Dot Dot Dot Property is the fact that, unlike other Guardian Companies, it’s first and foremost a social enterprise. And having a strong background in volunteering, it was the right and obvious choice for me.

I decided to volunteer at The Link as it’s near to my building, which means that I can be flexible with my hours. I also like the fact that they offer a lot of help and support to the Thamesmead community. And it also happens to be a great building, which is a bonus!

I have been volunteering there alongside Lorraine Heath-Norwood, who is their Young People Employment Advisor. With her, I mentor Young People and help them getting work and professional training. A typical session would link3involve us meeting a young person for a follow up, seeing how they are doing with their job search, helping them with either writing or editing their CV, cover letter, work experience application, but also mock job interviews and tips of all sorts. What we offer is guidance and help. I have recently been asked to oversee the content of a leaflet advertising their next Careers Fair, so my involvement there is quite diverse, exciting and interesting!

The young people we guide come from different walks of life. Some have left school before gaining their A Levels, some hold a University degree but are struggling to get a job, and others have mental health issues that are holding them back. The highlight of my volunteering at The Link so far has been seeing one young person with mental health issues overcoming his disability and gaining enough confidence to get back into work. Which is extremely rewarding!

They are expecting their department to grow, which means that hopefully the number of young people seeking our help will increase. And that’s something I’m really looking forward to!’

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with dot dot dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

 

This Week’s Top Five Volunteering Opportunities

April 8, 2016

1.East London Garden Space Volunteers
butterfly2Where: Various
When: Flexible
Commitment Level: Low

Cleaner Greener Volunteers are looking for both small garden spaces and volunteers to maintain them in East London. You would help to improve places in and around East London and receive support for doing so. Contact sam.dundas-dunbar@towerhamlets.gov.uk for further information.

2.ToolShed ‘Get Our Centre Ready’ Day
toolshedWhere: High Wycombe
When:  27th April
Commitment Level: Low

ToolShed are a social enterprise looking to help disadvantaged people gain skills in manual trades. As well as looking for volunteers generally, they are having a day on the 27th April to help them prepare their new centre; anyone is welcome to come along and help out! Email info@toolshedbucks.co.uk for more information.

3.FEAST West Norwood
feast wnWhere: West Norwood

When: First Sunday of each month
Commitment level: Low – Moderate

FEAST is a people-powered community market that takes place on the first Sunday of every month from April to December.

The market is run entirely by volunteers, with West Norwood residents and businesses working together to make it a success. Being a FEAST volunteer is a great way to make new friends and have a lot of fun at the same time as doing something really feel-good and positive for the local community.

There are a wide variety of volunteer roles available – from stewards to hub organisers, to behind the scenes roles such as marketing and project management.

If you’d like to volunteer on market days, help plan and organise in between Feasts, or find out more, go along to an open meeting at The White Hart pub in Tulse Hill (Tuesdays 6.30 – 8pm), or send an email to hello@westnorwoodfeast.com.

4.The Bike Project
bike projectWhere: 12 Crossthwaite Avenue, Denmark Hill, SE5 8ET
When:  Every Thursday 5-8pm
Commitment level: Low

Go and learn how to fix a bike at the Bike Project in Denmark Hill.
Anybody is welcome down at our workshop, with no experience necessary. All you need is a willingness to get stuck in! During the sessions, friendly mechanics are there to assist and support. This is a great way to learn some bike maintenance skills. Check out their website here or call on 020 7733 8098 to get in touch.

5.Divest Bexley

divest bexleyDivest Bexley is part of a global climate change movement. They are calling on Bexley Council to divest (disinvest) from fossil fuels. This campaign is run by some of our current guardians. If you are interested in getting involved get in touch with Sam at samueltmartin@hotmail.com.

 

 

BONUS OPPORTUNITY

6.Sense

Sense-LogoWhere: Tower Hamlets
When: Various (The organisation are looking for people who can buddy on a Saturday)
Commitment level: Ongoing commitment 

Sense are looking for people to spend time with deaf blind young people as buddies or as part of a schools club. To apply, fill out the application form which is on the website and send it to thvolunteering@sense.org.uk.

Spotlight on Sam and Drew

February 11, 2016

Since moving in with us over a year ago, Sam has spent over 160 hours volunteering for a variety of causes from working with pre-school children to oral history projects. Drew moved in with us in July 2015 and has given over 60 hours of his time to being an SEN Governor at a school and doing environmental work.    

Divest Bexley members with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell at the Climate March in November 2015

Divest Bexley members with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell at the Climate March in November 2015

 

In August 2015 Sam and Drew started Divest Bexley, a climate change campaign which calls on Bexley Council to stop investing its pension fund in fossil fuels. Their campaign has been featured in the media here. They gave us their top 5 tips for running a local campaign:

 

 

  1. Find a big brother: We are one of many local divestment campaigns supported by the international NGO 350.org. This gives us legitimacy, well-researched facts to back up our claims, social opportunities and vital moral support and solidarity. However local your cause is, there is probably a larger supportive network you can link up with.

 

  1. Practice karmic recruitment: Within days of starting the campaign we went to a social for Bexley Wildlife, a network of local conservationists. We then supported the launch of Bexley Green Party and we have joined the local campaign against new road crossings over the Thames. Our team was recruited largely from these groups.

 

  1. Go straight for the target: We coordinated several visits to councillor surgeries over autumn to raise awareness and persuade councillors onto our side. This led to a direct contact with the chair of the Pensions Committee to whom we were able to make our case. You will find it easier than you think to get access to those in power.

 

  1. …but also take a sideways approach: This spring we will go to churches and local groups to explain the campaign. This helps us pressure the council but just as importantly, educates and informs. Be ready to talk about your campaign anywhere – a night in the pub led to a successful impromptu petition signature gathering (but when we tried to repeat the trick, it flopped).

 

  1. ABC: That’s always be chronicling. Be the person who documents their entire life on social media, it’s for a good cause! Even the most mundane gathering is a photo opportunity you’ll look back on with pride, vital for the internal morale and confidence of your team. A Facebook page and regular email update help maintain a sense of momentum.

                                                 Sam Martin

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with dot dot dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

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