Why volunteer? Interview with Liana Sparks
To celebrate #VolunteersWeek (1-7 June) we spoke to local resident, Liana Sparks, about her love of volunteering and supporting the local community that she grew up in.
“I have been a volunteer for 12 years. I started after I bought a council property on the Girdlestone Estate and wanted to know more about what was happening in the local community. I went along to the Tenants Residents Association AGM and they were looking for volunteers so I signed up to become treasurer and I have been doing it ever since.
“The role is really varied. I help to manage the busy community centre, which offers a host of activities for the community – from art classes, pensioners fitness, to toddler groups and at the moment I am even organising a trip to Southend for 50 estate residents!
“I tend to fit volunteering around my day job as a housekeeping consultant for hotels. I also volunteer as the London Chair of the UK Housekeepers Association. I have been able to bring my experience from work into my volunteering roles – having good organisation skills helps!
“Volunteering is a great thing to do – it gets you out of the house and helps you to feel connected to your community. I’m a people person so I enjoy doing things for others and I find looking after people in the community really rewarding. You also meet some great people along the way.
“A particular highlight that sticks in my mind is when I helped to organise a community event called the ‘Festival for All’ at Whittington Park. It brought together 5,000 people from across the community and it was a lovely event that offered something for everyone – it was great because it broke down barriers.”
Feeling inspired? Find out more about volunteering with one of Islington’s fabulous local projects through Voluntary Action Islington. You can also attend the Volunteer Fair being run by Octopus Community Network at Caxton House Community Centre on Wednesday 12 June, 12.30-2.30pm.
If you are a volunteer tweet us @IslingtonLife to tell us where you volunteer, what you do and what you love about it using the hashtag #volunteersweek.