It's Volunteers Week! And we're celebrating our amazing volunteer family. There are too many to all name individually so this week we'll be highlighting just a few of these generous souls to acknowledge our huge gratitude for the enormous contributions they are making during these challenging times.
First up is Myia, (pictured on the left) one of our cycle buddies and juicers, in conversation here with our founder Sarah:
Sarah: Hi Myia, Thank you so much for your support these past weeks. Were you volunteering with Made in Hackney before the covid19 crisis?
Myia: No, but I wish now that I had been :)
Sarah: What was your employment situation before the crisis and has this been affected?
Myia: My career has been in brand marketing and live events. These industries have been hit hard by COVID. Most recently I’d been part of a new start-up called ARC Club @arc_club_ launching a new shared working space in Hackney that champions working closer to home, being more connected to your neighbourhood and supports women and parents. Ironically, these all seem to be even more important in light of COVID19.
Sarah: Tell us about your role volunteering for us during the crisis?
Myia: I first started as a Cycle Buddy delivering delicious free meals across Hackney with a cycle courier partner. Then I joined the Juicing Team, making healthy and tasty fresh juices out of our now named Juice Palace in Shoreditch.
Sarah: How has performing this role for us affected your experience of lock down and the covid19 crisis?
Myia: It's been a huge blessing in disguise. Whilst observing all the hygiene and safety rules around protecting ourselves and others, it's been an important opportunity to be outside, do something useful and meet interesting and like-minded people.
Sarah: How has it made you feel?
Myia: It's made me feel more connected to my local community. I'm from Hackney and grew up in Stoke Newington so it’s nice to be engaged and supporting the locals.
Sarah: Have you learnt any new skills?
Myia: Yes. First Aid Training, completed a Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Catering AND how to make really tasty juices!
Sarah: What new insights if any, has it given you?
Myia: There is SO much need for help and support. So many vulnerable people hidden away, sometimes trapped in social housing without any or enough support. However, there are also sooooo many great people who are willing to help and make the difference. I think the Made In Hackney team recognised this and right off the bat galvanised with incredible speed, organisation, kindness and enthusiasm, which I’ve been impressed and inspired by.
Sarah: What are the most rewarding (and also challenging) aspects about your role?
Myia: With both juicing and meal deliveries you’re involved with creating or delivering a healthy and nutritious meal or drink. It's good to know that at a time when health is so vital that we're contributing to trying to keep people healthy. This is really rewarding. Also working with kind and interesting people. Meeting some of those receiving meals on the meal deliveries is at times challenging, particularly when you sense the enormity of their challenges (e.g. they are receiving the only meal they’ve had that day, or being the only people they’ve seen or spoken to that day/week) and feeling limited in what you can do.
Sarah: How would you like to continue volunteering with us once the government lockdown eases?
Myia: I'd love to be able to contribute my skills from my past COVID work life to the MIH cause.
Sarah: Lucky us. Thankyou Myia. Such a pleasure and privilege to have you on the team.