TUESDAY: Nia’s story

Nia, volunteer at Hornsey Lane Estate Community Centre

It’s national Volunteers’ Week and we’re celebrating by saying thank you to all the amazing volunteers in Islington. Each day we will be sharing the inspirational story of a volunteer.   

We’ll be looking at the incredible work that volunteers have been doing over the last 12 months and more recently in response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Join us by sharing your inspirational stories of people volunteering in Islington #VolunteersWeek #weareIslington. 

Thank you to everyone who volunteers in Islington!

Tuesday’s story is about Nia.

Nia volunteers at the Hornsey Lane Estate Community Centre, which until very recently was a nursery and a play scheme which also ran activities for the local community including cookery classes and seaside trips for older people, baby massage classes for new parents and an advice service.

Since the coronavirus crisis, it has become an emergency food bank and Nia is now one of the leading co-ordinators. The centre started off feeding just a few homes at the beginning of the pandemic and is now providing food for over 130 local households. Nia says: ‘The sense of community and coming together to help has been overwhelming – it’s been incredible.’

Nia says the work can be difficult and sometimes she worries people who need help are missed out, but that overall, it’s very rewarding. She says: ‘It’s also just amazing for your own wellbeing being constantly active and busy helps keep the mind healthy and happy.’

Nia is completing a Health and Social Policy degree and using her experience volunteering at the food bank as part of her research for her degree. She would recommend volunteering to anyone thinking about it, she says she’s learnt new skills and her experiences could lead to new employment opportunities.

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