Maria moved to the UK from Sweden because of her husband’s work a year and a half ago. has two children, five-year-old Esther and two-year-old Erik. In the second of our Meet The Volunteers interviews Action For Kids caught up with Maria for a chat about how she got into volunteering.
AFK: How did you hear about Action For Kids?
Maria: I heard about Action For Kids at a charity fashion Glamgiving event and wanted to get involved. Action For Kids is brilliant, a fantastic organisation working to help disabled young people find their independence through work or learning. Most importantly, everyone takes the time for each other and is so nice - you can feel that people care very much. And the young people are smiley, so welcoming – I get so much back from helping!
AFK: Do you work or study alongside volunteering?
Maria: My background is in environmental consulting but I am currently studying shiatsu and I have been volunteering at Action For Kids as a Volunteer Adult & In-Work Support Worker since June for four hours a week.
AFK: Are there specific tasks you are involved in with when volunteering?
Maria: I accompany a young lady, Sama (who has Down’s Syndrome), in her placement at the local post office, sorting the post. I stand nearby and I am there if she needs help. Part of the work is matching postcodes and road names, and it’s not the easiest system so I assist with that. I watch to make sure everything is alright but Sama is quite independent and really good at her job!
AFK: Why did you start volunteering?
Maria: For me volunteering could possibly lead to paid work, but it is very important for me to give time to someone else, it’s a good feeling. As I am new to London, it helps me integrate into the community, find out the way of life in the UK, and learn how everything works and links together.
AFK: In your opinion, what’s the most important thing about volunteering?
Maria: The most important thing I’ve learnt with this volunteer role is to be in the here and now – to actually be present in the moment and to be myself. It’s a change as I normally like to be busy so I’m learning - it’s grounding and good to go with the flow!
Action For Kids would like to thank Maria and all our other volunteers for their hard work and supporting the young people at Action For Kids. If you are interested in volunteering at Action For Kids contact Fareeda Southworth or visit our volunteering page.