It's Volunteers Week! And we've been celebrating our amazing volunteer family. There are too many to all name individually so we've 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.
Finally it's Ben, one of our volunteer cycle couriers in conversation here with our founder Sarah:
Sarah: Hi Ben, Thank you so much for your support these past few months. Were you volunteering with Made in Hackney before the COVID19 crisis?
Ben: No, I heard about MIH on our local whatsapp covid thread and wanted to help out.
Sarah: What was your employment before the crisis and has this been affected?
Ben: I work for Swan Housing Association as a Senior Development Manager. I've been working throughout the lockdown part time, allowing me to do two days a week for MIH.
Sarah: Tell us about your role volunteering with us during the lockdown?
Ben: I've been delivering food with my bike and trailer accompanied by Maddie, my wife. It’s been great riding around Hackney, especially meeting the people who we deliver to - at a distance of course.
Sarah: How has performing this volunteer role affected your experience of lock down and the crisis?
Ben: It has been pretty sobering to see how many people have really struggled throughout this period. It is yet another reminder of how deeply unequal our society is. We are so lucky to have organisations like MIH. The experience has made me deeply upset that people can be so isolated and vulnerable, but happy and thankful that people do seem to want to help each other. It has been great seeing people looking out for each other.
Sarah: Have you learnt any new skills?
Ben: No. But it reminds me of my days as a bike courier in Manchester!
Sarah: What new insights if any has it given you?
Ben: To pay more attention to those around us.
Sarah: What are the most rewarding (and the most challenging) aspects about performing this volunteer role?
Ben: Rewarding has been cycling around Hackney in the sun. Challenging has been my general lack of fitness!
Sarah: How would you like to continue volunteering with us once the government lockdown eases?
Ben: However I can be useful.
Sarah: Thankyou so much Ben, you’ve worked so hard. We really appreciate it.