Dot Dot Dot staff give their time to good causes

June 4, 2021

During #VolunteersWeek 2021 we caught up with Dot Dot Dot staff who, like our guardians, often give up their time to volunteer for good causes. From a forest school for kids, to food banks and trustee positions, there’s loads of great work going on in our local communities.

Patrick Harrison, business development associate at Dot Dot Dot

I volunteer for my wife Sue’s forest school business, Branching Out-woods, mainly at a primary school in Braintree.

The theory of forest school is that the children choose what to do in the woodland, and the leaders assist them to do those things, which might be den making, craft, cooking, rope stuff, or almost anything in their imagination. There is a big role for risk taking and fires which the children learn to make for themselves. It sounds hippy-ish but the evidence is that it really helps a child’s development (and the adults! – it’s so hard not to give the answer but let the child take (managed) risks and learn from their mistakes). We do see the children change in a few weeks!

After week three of the six allotted sessions we see the children relax into it and make the time their own. When we ask them if they would like to see anything changed, the response is “No, this is our time to do what we want”. It seems many children have so much of their life structured and directed.

Katharine Hibbert, founder and director of Dot Dot Dot

I’m a volunteer trustee at Headway East London, a charity which supports people who’ve had brain injuries as well as their families. We have a day centre and various outreach programmes working with people from 13 London boroughs, providing everything from physiotherapy and counselling to an art studio and opportunities to make music. As a trustee, I’m responsible (alongside the rest of the board of trustees) for making sure that the charity is well run and makes the biggest difference it can, and I also try to get involved in a hands-on way when I can. I’ve been doing this for seven years now.

I got involved with Headway East London after visiting the centre and being so impressed by the positive, purposeful atmosphere. The members have had their lives changed by devastating brain injuries, and yet they find ways to enjoy themselves and do things which are meaningful and worthwhile. It’s very satisfying to feel that I’m making a contribution to that. I’ve also learned a lot – about brain injury, but also about running a charity, and that helps me in my work at Dot Dot Dot too.

Most of the work of being a trustee is fairly dry, and is mostly focused on risk management – it’s a lot of looking through accounts and policies, and discussing updates to them. The biggest difference I make is probably by sitting on the panel that recruits the charity’s senior leadership team – we recently appointed a new chief executive, which was a huge responsibility. But the most enjoyable and memorable bits are spending time with the members – particularly at the supper clubs we have every few months in non-Covid times, when members cook up a feast for scores of guests as a fundraiser.

Abi Carter, head of growth and partnerships at Dot Dot Dot

I volunteer at Paddington Development Trust, a charity that aims to help communities in north west London exert greater control over their own lives. We run employment and training programmes, and wonderful community health initiatives based around local people delivering health messaging to their peers. We also invest in improving the local built environment and have converted a Grade 1 listed church into a community arts and culture hub. I became a trustee in 2016 and chair a year later. I also volunteer at Tottenham Food Bank, based out of Tottenham Town Hall. I joined in April 2020 when Covid-19 hit and food banks all over the country were affected a) by their usual raft of older volunteers having to self isolate and b) by the surge in demand for their services.

I worked just down the road from Paddington Development Trust – at Lord’s, in St John’s Wood – and wanted to volunteer to see a different side to the area and learn more about the pervasive barriers that prevent so many people in London being able to enjoy and get the most from the city. I also thought it would be useful from a personal development perspective – being able to broaden my own skillset and networks beyond sport. At the food bank, there was a massive need for volunteers, but it also gave me a strong sense of purpose at a time when my plan to go travelling and studying after leaving a long-standing job had been kiboshed by Covid-19…and the alternative seemed to be just to sulk about it!

At the Trust, my most memorable moment was the first time I walked into Grand Junction – the church we converted into a community asset – when it had been scrubbed and renovated, and cleared of scaffold, and was actually hosting local people, running projects that had never been run in that part of London before, and giving them a place to be really proud of. The restoration has been over 10 years in the making and the source of many sleepless nights, and it was amazing to see how much blood, toil, tears and sweat had gone into making it such a joyous place for so many wonderful local people.

The early days of Covid-19 were carnage at the food bank, as you’d expect. We had queues of hungry and desperate people outside, and a paper-based system which wasn’t made to cope with volume. A few of us volunteers quickly helped the organisation that runs the food bank put an effective system in place to get the packing and distribution done, which mainly involved giving out orders with absolutely no authority – but it worked! At times we were delivering to 80/90 people in an afternoon, and the feeling of team work and people focusing on doing small jobs very well never ceased to give me a great sense of pride.

Mark Muldoon, relationship coordinator at Dot Dot Dot

I volunteer at all sorts of different places and I’ve always tried to do it in my local community – it feels good to not just live in my neighbourhood but to be playing an active role in it. I’ve been a volunteer event photographer at Poplar HARCA/Poplar Union since August last year and a volunteer painter and decorator at Civic in Custom House every now and then since last May. I’ve also been a food waste distributor for OLIO in Poplar since November last year and I’ve volunteered as a litter picker in Limehouse Basin for Moo Canoes. Through OLIO, I solely manage the redistribution of supermarket food that would otherwise be thrown away, ensuring as much of it as possible gets into the hands of less well off families in my local community.

Ian Mikardo High School

October 2, 2014

IanMikardoKids
Recently, TV documentaries following British school life have been wildly popular, with Educating Yorkshire, Essex and now the East End all capturing the nation’s attention and hearts. So, we were genuinely delighted to see that the outstanding Ian Mikardo School is now getting its turn in the spotlight. In a two part series that debuted on Channel 5 on the 29th September, we’ll get a chance to follow the day-to-day happenings of this pioneering institution. The school holds a special place in our heart as guardian Jasmine is a dedicated trustee and spends hours every month working on varied and creative fundraising ideas.

A last chance for boys aged 11-16 who have been deemed unteachable; the Ian Mikardo School offers something very different from the traditional educational system. There are no rules, no uniforms and no punishments. A much-loved rescue dog called McFlurry roams the corridors and staff and students are all on first name terms. And it seems to work – they’ve won three Ofsted Outstanding School awards and 97% of the students go onto further education.

To help pay for all the services that the local authority simply can’t afford to cover, the school set up Friends of Ian Mikardo High School, a registered charity with a board of brilliant trustees on which our guardian Jasmine sits. They fundraise to support the vital services that give these boys, many who have behavioural difficulties and complex backgrounds, a second chance at life.

They’re currently looking for a brand new trustee to join their team. They meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 6pm in Canary Wharf. So, if you’re inspired by the great work you’ve seen in the programme, are keen to proactively fundraise and could spare a few hours of your time every month they would love to hear from you. Full details can be found here and the closing date for applications is the 31st October.

What are you looking for today?

Marketing Permissions

Dot Dot Dot Property Ltd will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing by email. Please confirm you are happy to hear from us by:

Email
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at hello@dotdotdotproperty.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By checking the box, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

GDPR
We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.