Four months ago, in September 2018, Rachel came along to a South London Cares volunteer induction, since then she's been along to 8 social clubs and is now matched up with Jerilyn (65), through our Love Your Neighbour programme. She gives us an insight into her first few months as a volunteer below.
I began my volunteering journey with South London Cares at the beginning of November this year, and it really has been an amazing experience so far. I was lucky enough to have a month off work while in between jobs so I decided to sign up to a few social clubs to give me a sense of purpose during my time off.
I began my social club experience at a Film Screening in Elephant and Castle where I met Paul who reminisced over how his local area has changed over the last 40 years. A film screening club is a great starting option if you feel a little apprehensive about what to expect as you can socialise with your older neighbours, but it also gives you the opportunity to sit back and watch a film with a cup of tea. A great way to ease you into it!
Throughout November, I attended; Thanksgiving, Pub Club, a Watercolour Workshop, Diwali, Script Reading, a Technology Workshop and Choir, which allowed me to get involved in so many weird and wonderful things. This spanned from making candles at Diwali to singing songs by Adele at the top of my lungs at the Choir.
Every social club has been incredible in its own right. However, one of my favourite moments was at the Watercolour Workshop at the Garden Museum in Lambeth. Here we used brushes made from items found in the garden such as leaves and flowers to create new textures and techniques while painting with watercolour. This was a lovely way to spend the afternoon and inspired many of us to think outside the box when creating art at home.
The Diwali Social Club was also a very memorable experience as this is where I met Jerilyn who brightened up my day with her many stories about travelling across India and I shared anecdotes about my own travelling experiences. We got on so well that we ended up becoming neighbours on the Love Your Neighbour programme and we now meet up for a coffee once a week.
The social clubs are a unique and incredible opportunity to meet people that you may otherwise never meet in your day to day lives. They are fun, thought-provoking, inspiring and you will learn so much from one another throughout the process.
You will be welcomed by a member of the South London Cares team when you arrive, and there will always be someone to have a chat and a cup of coffee with. If you want to do something different with your time and be part of a charity that are doing some really inspiring things, attend a social club and see what it’s all about, you won’t regret it!
Posted by Rachel Bainbridge on Thursday 20th December 2018
Rachel has been a South London Cares Social Clubs volunteer since September 2018 and Love Your Neighbour volunteer since November 2018.