Spotlight on Jonny

August 17, 2016

Jonny has been a guardian with us since March and has managed to do a huge 78 hours of volunteering in that time! This is what he has to say about being a property guardian with Dot Dot Dot: 

jonny stockbridgeI’m a visual artist and I mostly work with the public on all kinds of creative endeavours. After spending three months traveling around South East Asia and running art workshops in cafes and bars in the Philippines I got back at the beginning of February this year and stayed at a friends place while he was on holiday.

Whilst looking for a new place to live, I came across Dot Dot Dot which seemed to be totally in rhythm with what I was looking for: A more affordable rent and the opportunity to engage with my local community through volunteer work.

I moved to Abbey Wood in March. After meeting up with Claudia from The Link, a really great community centre with all kinds of facilities, we really hit it off and started to plan some art workshops.

I’ve created some large scale art installations at Somerset house and inspired by one of these projects we decided to create a jungle in the foyer by suspending netting above people’s heads, shredding polythene bags and bringing the jungle to life!

the linkWe had two great workshops where over 40 young people came and created carrier bag fruits as well as bottle flowers that strapped around the pillars. Such a great vibe and really transformed the space! I am now like their artist in residence and regularly run workshops. This has led to me talking to the library opposite about doing similar things with them too.

Peabody run The Link and have been very enthusiastic about what’s been happening. I have just recently also been commissioned by them to create some permanent artwork in the garden with a group of young people aged 8-18. Which is really exciting! Many other projects have also taken place this summer too. I created six eight foot willow sunflowers with over 200 participants for SGI-UK. A Buddhist organisation here in the UK. It was an astonishing project!

I’m very much looking forward to continuing with my volunteering and opening up new collaborations in the months to come!

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 andTwitter

Spotlight on Emilija

May 19, 2016

Emilija is a guardian with us in East London. From the start she has dived straight into her volunteering. This is what she has to say: 

Emilija1‘Today marks my 10 week anniversary as a guardian with Dot Dot Dot. Since starting I have volunteered with at least 7 different organisations on top of my full time job. It has been a steep learning curve comprised of moments of bliss and some crises of self-confidence.

On reflection this journey has been full of the unexpected. Amongst more traditional volunteering roles such as fundraising and leafleting, my volunteering repertoire now includes sheep herding and dressing a disposable nappy stall.

One of the first volunteering activities I signed up for was an ‘Urban Weed Walk’ in Hackney organised by a gardening community ‘Cordwainers Grow’. The walk involved combing the streets of Hackney with urban ecologist Annie to help her spot, identify and record wild plants sprouting in the paving cracks and brick walls.

emilija2One of my more regular commitments is helping out at Mudchute Farm. Working with animals surrounded by the park’s rolling hills makes for a nice change from the day-to-day desk bound work, even if you end up going home smelling of muck! The staff are very welcoming, the fellow volunteers are great company and many hands make for light work.

I have also undertaken more civilised volunteering roles. My most recent commitment is doing online research for the charity “Action on Hearing Loss”. However my next big challenge is to launch a volunteering cause of my own. I want to set up creative workshops for adults to help them rediscover the joy of imaginative experimentation and problem solving.

Starting new things can be a slow process but I am optimistic. The last 10 weeks have shown me that you can succeed in new things if you put your mind to it – even if it’s sheep herding.’

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

Is London Dying?

May 13, 2016

A Panel Discussion With Dot Dot Dot’s Founder, Katharine Hibbert

kath1On Monday Dot Dot Dot founder Katharine Hibbert featured on a panel discussion about the provocative question ‘is London dying?’ at Conway Hall, Holborn. Alongside Ian Sinclair, Tom Hodgkinson and Angus Hanton, Katharine spoke about some of the issues facing London in the immediate future. Housing featured prominently on this list.

Whilst all the panelists were concerned by London’s housing issues, the degree to which they thought this meant London was ‘dying’ varied.

Is London DyingThe discussion covered many of the housing problems facing London. Rapidly rising rents, government inaction on housing and a lack of affordable housing stock were all thought to be strangling the capital, especially for the younger generation.

However, Katharine sees cause for hope and doesn’t think London is dying ‘just yet’. Whilst to many the situation only seems to be getting worse, there are actions that could be taken to create a better housing situation for future Londoners. Moreover, the continued vitality and diversity of London will remain a source of hope, even if housing woes continue.

Even if we are operating on a small-scale, at Dot Dot Dot we’re happy to provide an affordable living option in the thick of a housing crisis. We’re also proud to operate in a buzzing, diverse metropolis. We can’t see London dying just yet!

 

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