Nim's Story

About Nim. Nim, looking at the camer and smiling. Office furniture in the backgrond. Nim wears glasses, light blue shirt and tie.
I am 60 years old in a mixed heritage marriage with two daughters and have lived and worked in five different countries. I have taught management at the Open University, Social work at Kingsway College and at the Institute for Community Studies and been an associate chaplain at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Currently I teach film appreciation at the Mary Ward Centre, an adult educations centre in London, and run an environmental charity which involves volunteers going to Kenya to work alongside community groups. I also see people on a one to one basis for personal development.
Why did you decide to volunteer?
In order to be an active member of the community, to meet a wide cross section of people and to be able to contribute something from a storehouse of experiences gained from living, studying and working in London. It’s a way to expand my world view while developing new skills by solving problems and meeting community needs.
Who do you help through volunteering?
My first voluntary role was in the seventies when I lived in Brick Lane and worked at the Spitalfields Crypt supporting people struggling with alcoholism. I volunteer anywhere where I can usefully use my knowledge, skills and experience and at other times I volunteer where I am needed as a part of a team be of some service to the community or meet a specified request. I have been involved with homeless people, those coping with mental health issues, environmental projects, people wanting to be London Olympic ambassadors and with issues around ‘plan for a good death’. I also volunteer as a committee member for a community art group.
How has volunteering helped you?
Volunteering helps me to be involved in doing things I enjoy doing and also discovering new interests. It’s been a good way of meeting and learning to relate to people from very different backgrounds. Volunteering helps me to be engaged in lifelong learning in learning by doing. Through voluntary service, I have developed long lasting friendships with like minded people that form part of my social network.
What would you say to potential volunteers?
Volunteering is not just about doing things for people; it’s a great opportunity to discover aspects of your being as you engage in different situations doing various things with like minded people. There is fun and friendship and an opportunity to develop and contribute to a global perspective.
Are you ready to get involved?
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