It is National Volunteers Week! At ISCRE and Suffolk Law Centre, we are very lucky to benefit from some amazing volunteers. In fact, without them we wouldn’t be able to do even half of the work we do. So, we are very happy to celebrate volunteers. We have been chatting to a few of them about the work they do for us, what brought them to volunteer with us, and what they get up to in their spare time.
We will feature different volunteers each day this week, Monday – Friday.
Over to you, volunteers! #VolunteerWeek #VolunteersAreAmazing
Lindah: Sitting at home, bored, and now an unconditional offer to study Law!
I’ve been volunteering with ISCRE and Suffolk Law Centre since 19th March 2018. Right now, I am still waiting for the outcome on my asylum case. Before starting volunteering, I was doing nothing. I was sitting at home and bored. So, I called Suffolk Refugee Support, and said to them, “I need to do something with my time – I don’t care really what you ask me to do, but I need to get out of the house! I wake up in the morning, and I go out jogging, I hoover the house, I wash up dishes…, but I need something that gives me a little bit more focus!” She said she’d see what she could find for me and that she’d get back to me. I emailed her back and said “I’m coming into town tomorrow, and I’m going to come and see you!” Before she could even get back to me, 10am the next day, I was there! At my appointment with the advisor, I told her that I had done a diploma in Law and that in the future when everything had stabilised and I wanted to pick that up again. But right then, I wanted to do anything that would use my skills and give me some contact with people. They had a few ideas, which sounded OK, but then they suggested ISCRE, and I thought, yes! So I completed the volunteer application form and sent it off. I hadn’t heard back when I walked past the office, and thought “I’ll go in”, so I did. I met Sumaiyah and had a chat with Letha, and she asked me if I wanted to start that day! I had something to do, so I said, “I can’t today, but I can tomorrow,” which was a day that Letha doesn’t work, so instead I started on the next Monday – March 19th. After too long doing nothing, everything happened really quickly.
I help Letha with Tackling Discrimination in the East, by filing, doing admin, uploading cases onto the system. Today I have been trying to call clients for feedback on the advice they received from us, after we have closed their case. It is quite a challenge to get hold of people – you have to keep trying. The best thing about volunteering here is the people – everyone is approachable, which is a good thing. I have applied to the University of East Anglia to do a Law degree, and they have given me an unconditional offer. Initially, they said I would need to take further courses to bring me up to the required standard before I could get an interview, and they said that my grades were equivalent to BBB, and that A grades were needed to get a place. Then I told them that I was volunteering at Suffolk Law Centre, and they became really interested. They gave me an interview, and then told me I had an unconditional place – I was so happy!