As part of Volunteers Week 2019, we’re putting up profiles of some of our volunteers. We’ve featured Annalie, Angela, Simon and Shyam, Rona, George, Chris and Giulia already, but let’s hear from Nicola, who has been volunteering with Barnet Mencap for a few years, but also lives in one of our shared houses and attends our social projects.
I started volunteering with Barnet Mencap about 3 years ago, helping out with the COPs mailout every month, and I enjoy it. I usually do it with Chris, and I do the folding, then Chris passes me the envelopes and tells me what each one needs, then I put the flyers in the envelope. We’re a good little team! Sometimes I even point out mistakes on the flyers so we can change them before they go out!
As well as the mailout, I have helped out in interviews. I ask people questions and then score them on their answers. They don’t always hire my favourite but sometimes they do.
With the Engagement project I have also helped with Learning Disability training in Brent Cross and at a school, which I enjoyed. Me and Hamid O’Toole are on the Involvement Board. We meet once every 3 months, and I represent people with learning disabilities. We talk about issues from the Have Your Say group, such as benefits.
I have also done tin collecting and bag packing.
I go to Community Focus on Tuesdays where I do art and photography. We take photos of ourselves and of other things. In my spare time, I like reading magazines and listening to my CDs – I love Blur and Gorillaz, and I’ve met Damon Albarn about ten times!
I also like swimming, rugby, martial arts and yoga, which I go to through Barnet Mencap. I have lived in one of Barnet Mencap’s houses for 4 years, and I like being more independent.
I like having my support from Barnet Mencap every week, as they help me cook, clean, fill in forms and help with my money and holidays – I’m really excited to go on holiday to the Isle of Wight in July!
In the future, I want to do more volunteering and maybe even paid work.
For more info on Volunteering, head to our Volunteering page.