Meet a Volunteer

Gary

John Lennon Peace Wall, Prague, April 2016

When did you start volunteering with the Islington Centre?

August 2017.

Which sessions do you help with?

Working on the Reception desk/ Registration of clients/ also a volunteer role as an English language class assistant.  [Working alongside the lead teachers to support the clients with their English language needs at ICRM and Speak Street].

Why do you volunteer?

When I retired, I wanted to continue to make a worthwhile social contribution, so I decided to train to teach English to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

In the nineteenth century, my paternal great-grandparents and maternal grandfather came to the U.K. as Jewish immigrants from Europe, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. So, I also wanted to give immigrants in the U.K. today similar opportunities to participate more fully in society.

I really love being on the volunteer team. Although it can sometimes be quite challenging, it is also extremely rewarding to meet, work with and learn from different people from all over the world and help them in whatever modest way I can.

After retirement, I have been fortunate enough to rediscover a sense of purpose, goal and aim in life, together with a positive day to day structure. 

 It is truly humbling to see all the hard work and dedication of the small number of ICRM staff members and the miracles they have performed, on a very limited budget, to support our clients  throughout the 15 months of the pandemic; and in providing a full timetable of all our activities that can be accessed online.

The Centre is a very special place and it’s equally a very special privilege to volunteer here. ICRM gives me far more in return than I can ever contribute to the Centre.

How did you hear about us?

After I finished the CELTA course, I was searching online for any suitable ESOL post.s to apply for.  By sheer good fortune, I happened upon the ICRM!