My name is Luisa and I live in the Village (Walthamstow). I moved to Walthamstow in January 2016.
With the aim of getting to know better the community I live in and gaining some valuable experience, I approached the Waltham Forest Community Hub. I was interviewed by Monwara and started to volunteer at the Youth Club.
The experience has been fantastic! Although I no longer volunteer for the number of days I used to, I still feel part of the hub.
All the team are great: Sonita, Lyn, Shaun and of course the director, Monwara. The Youth Club as well as the hub is a valuable space for the local community to come together, learn and have fun. It is also a safe space for the young people who visit us every Monday and Friday, and it was very rewarding to be part of the club.
I was actively supported from the first day and coached by the other youth workers through the whole period I volunteered. I had lots of fun and gained valuable experience, which was key for getting my current job, not to mention Sonita’s awesome advice for building my CV and getting trough the interview!
I can’t thank enough all the team for all the support, the training opportunities provided and the feeling of being home. To all the ‘Stow people, I highly recommend you all to get in contact with the hub and get involved, after all, it’s up to us - the community - to make these spaces work.
I intend to have a career in social work; working in the field of community and social work helping children who have suffered or are continuously suffering from abuse, distress, depression whether its caused by mental, social or physical factors. I want to help children overcome their problems and inject the feeling of hope in them.
I am currently studying Applied Social Science, Community Development and Youth work, which is a 3-year course. This particular course requires me to do a placement. I researched for some community/youth organisations and I came across the Waltham Forest Community Hub, which is local to me as I’m a resident of Waltham Forest borough.
I called up the Waltham Forest Community hub and I spoke to Monwara (the centre development manager) and I asked questions about the organisation such as the main target group, service description and written health and safety policies which they had, also if they do placements which they did.
The service description was exactly what I was looking for such as, doing projects for youth i.e. residential trips, festivals, fundraising events, providing and facilitate development and support services for the local community (Waltham Forest) such as taekwondo, village food market, senior citizenship for the elderly. I was amazed due to the various of services they provide which persuaded me to go for this organisation to do my placement.
A couple months later I called up the Waltham Forest Community hub to ask if I can do a placement therefore Monwara organised an interview with me on Friday 18th of March 2016.
My initial assumptions before the informal interview was I was just going to be asked questions on why I want to do my placement at Waltham Forest hub and why am I fit enough for this specific placement.
My assumptions were not correct as Monwara informed me more in depth about the service such as having their own YouTube channel containing videos of the projects they do and the services they provide.
The YouTube channel also contained some videos of youth club members being interviewed about how the Waltham Forest Community hub has helped them in terms of studies, life in general such as friendships.
I was provided in depth information about the services, such as the youth club and other projects like the number of people that attend as well as how they go about conducting the projects and services they provide.
The interview as well as the observation was a success.
The young teens where very kind and welcoming in the same way as the supervisors such as Shaun who informed me about the youth club, how they work and also about the young teens who attend the youth club.
My expectations of my placement at Waltham Forest Community hub is I am going to be doing admin work such as typing, printing, data entry, photocopying. Also, once I receive my dbs I will be working with young members of the youth club as well as getting involved in projects and services for the community such as events, services for the elderly and projects for youth.
Hopefully by the end of my experience I will see how different my experience has been to my expectations.
Life at The Asian Centre [Waltham Forest Community Hub] by Roger Blackham
My first visit to The Asian Centre [Waltham Forest Community Hub] was on the twenty-fourth of November twenty-fourteen. It was on this fine morning that I was to be interviewed by Monwara, the Centre Development Manager. I had first met Monwara a week earlier at a meeting arranged by Carlynne Preville, the Sheltered Housing Service Manager for Ascham Homes. This meeting was held in the communal lounge at Holmcroft House, the sheltered house where I live. Monwara enlightened us with the fact that The Asian Centre [Waltham Forest Community Hub] served the whole local community, not only those of Asian ethnicity. It was this revelation that prompted Juliet, the Holmcroft House Scheme Manager, to ask Monwara if she would consider me for a voluntary placement at the centre. Monwara’s response to this question led to my interview on the aforementioned day.
The interview a success, my life as a Volunteer Admin Assistant at The Asian Centre [Waltham Forest Community Hub] began on Friday the twenty-eighth of November at eleven o’clock. I soon learned that this is the type of work I want to do; typing, printing, filing, photocopying, creating ‘flyers’ and data entry. I answer the phone, now that my cold has cleared up, take messages and catalogue voicemails. My one major ‘Blot on the Landscape’ is ‘minute taking’ which was a total disaster that I hope to be able to rectify in the near future. I owe a massive debt to Monwara and my other colleagues at The Asian Centre [Waltham Forest Community Hub], for sharing their knowledge and skills with me to enable me to perform my role. My office co-workers, Monwara, Abed and Musa, have been extremely helpful, and I cannot thank them enough. I have also received great encouragement and support from the other staff; the trio of Youth Workers, Sonita, Lyn and Shaun, and the three caretakers, Frank, Ali and Jimmy. I have met only two other volunteers, Sue and her son Courteney, whom are also very friendly and supportive. I sincerely hope that when I eventually find employment the workplace environment (a small office), and my colleagues are as friendly and helpful as the ones at The Asian Centre Waltham Forest [Waltham Forest Community Hub].