Leonora’s Volunteer Story
Leonora volunteers at Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield (DASH) supporting the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees.
How did you find out about volunteering?
I went to an event run by DASH and found the atmosphere so wonderful. Then when our government became radically crueller towards asylum seekers, I looked at the website and asked to join the gang.
What type of activities do you usually do as a volunteer?
I help in welfare support – helping clients with applications for financial support and accommodation mostly. I am available at the weekly drop-in session that DASH runs. We are trained to help people with all sorts of issues: phone calls to Home Office, clothing, food bank referrals, mediation with educational institutions, DWP, help with applications and systemic glitches.
What do you like about your volunteer role?
I love the team of people, staff and volunteers – the values which they uphold, the interaction with clients and the palpable difference which a little assistance and a welcome and some friendliness and advocacy can make to our vulnerable asylum seekers’ lives.
I also really like how well-run this little charity is. It is equal parts heart and tireless well-honed use of skills and resources. I am just so proud to be part of this.
How has volunteering made a difference to you?
Meeting like-minded people. Being able to rely on great training and constant well-aimed support to give me the confidence to deal effectively with often serious life-changing issues for our precarious clients.
Every time we help someone to get the bit of funding or the support they are legally entitled to it makes me feel less impotent in a cold hard political climate.
Doing what you can within the reach of your arm, small acts of kindness and justice in a team which maximises your usefulness really helps you sleep at night. I hear people moaning about politics or social issues and I just think – give a couple of hours a week and whatever skills you have. It is so much more useful and more empowering than moaning. I used to love moaning myself. Now I love volunteering at DASH.
Find a volunteering role
Search for your perfect volunteering role here https://tslkirklees.org.uk/volunteering-roles.