My name is Jodie, and I have recently joined the South London Cares team as the new Development Coordinator. It has been my first full-time job since graduating last year, and I am so excited to have found such a great role. Everyone on the team has been so friendly and kind, and I have been made to feel really welcome and settled in only a few days!
I started volunteering for South London Cares in 2018 when a friend told me about the charity and how much she enjoyed volunteering with them. I quickly signed up, and soon after I attended my first technology club where I helped Saffina watch Eastenders on iPlayer, and listened to some old-time tunes on Spotify with Hugh. Since then, I have answered tricky questions at an international woman’s day quiz, sang my heart out at choir, and danced until I was out of breath at Desert Island Discs. My time volunteering taught me some valuable lessons, that I know will help me as I start the next part of my journey with South London Cares:
1. My social circle needs expanding
I have always thought of myself as an outgoing person, however, walking into my first technology club, I suddenly felt shy. I wasn’t with my group of friends. I wasn’t even with people who were my age. I had to re-adjust - just like so many of our older neighbours have been doing for years as they watch the city rapidly change. After chatting and laughing with my older neighbours I felt comfortable and connected to my city and the people around me. It made me realise that South London Cares clubs are just as important for making volunteers like me feel a part of their community, as they are our older neighbours.
2. First impressions can be completely wrong
Many of our older neighbours have to deal with stereotyping and prejudice on a day to day basis, but volunteering with South London Cares has taught me never to underestimate an individual because of their age. If you think you can win a dance-off with David, you are sorely mistaken. And, if you think you know the words to George Ezra better than Anita, you’ve got another thing coming. Many places in London may feel limiting to our older neighbours, but South London Cares Social Clubs clubs are not one of them.
3. I live in a vibrant and wonderful city
I was born in South London and, aside from four great years at Sussex University eating chips on Brighton beach, I have lived here my whole life. I love being a Londoner, and think that the changing pace of the city makes it an incredibly interesting place to live. However, rapid change can also have a dislocating effect, pushing the history of South London and the local community into the background. South London Cares helped to anchor me to my city, reminding me of the different cultures, ideas and characters in our community.
These lessons are ones that I will take with me as I begin my fundraising journey, and will help to guide me through the many marathons, pub quizzes, bike rides, and bake sales that will be coming my way. I am so excited to meet some of our amazing challenge fundraisers and I am particularly looking forward to cheering on the sidelines at the Royal Parks Half Marathon and getting stuck in the mud at the Rough Runner obstacle course event.
All in all, I am really happy to be here, and can’t wait to help raise some all-important funds to continue the great work that already happens at South London Cares.
If you have any questions, requests or ideas, or just want to say ‘Hi!’, please do not hesitate to send me a message at [email protected].
Posted by Jodie Goffe on Wednesday 19th June 2019
Jodie is the newest member of our Development team, who work to secure the all important funds that help South London Cares to deliver their programmes. You will find her cheering at marathons and bike rides, calling out raffle ticket prizes, and enthusiastically thanking all our wonderful donors.