Action West London (AWL) would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers and interns who have contributed and supported the charity.
Volunteers and interns assist the charity in many ways — from helping local, unemployed people through the various tasks of getting a job and assisting with job applications, to supporting young people, to helping with social media and fundraising.
In return, AWL aims to give its Volunteers and Interns the wide range of experience and learning opportunities they are looking for.
Our interns and volunteers talk about their experience with AWL:
Ben came to AWL as a volunteer through our GOLDD project (Great Opportunities for the youth with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities).The programme is aimed at 16-24 year olds who are NEETs (not in employment, education or training) with Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD). We provide bespoke support to train and coach young people into sustained education, training and or employment.
Ben volunteered at AWL for six months and got the opporutinity to assist on a variety of projects, including Youth Talent and Family Works.He said that working at Action West London has been a great learning experience. "I've been learning lots of new things and doing different things each day I've been here. It's increasing my confidence in doing things!"
Nitosha started interning at AWL in January 2018 and was here for 16 weeks working on the Family Works project. She is currently a graduate student at Florida State University studying social work. On the Family Works project, Nitosha worked with people who are trying to gain employment, helping them create CVs and apply to jobs. She’s started a group helping people with their interview skills. For the first session, she held mock interviews and taught people how to dress for interviews. For the second session, she worked on confidence building and how to showcase strengths and weaknesses.
“I have previous experience working in the charity sector because I used to work at a homeless shelter. I wanted to utilize my skills to help Action West London and learn about west London’s community. I really like helping people. The feeling of helping people and being able to say we accomplished a goal and got through it together is amazing. Being able to get people to accomplish their goals and especially when they feel like they cant do it themselves is so rewarding.
Daniel started working with AWL from January 2017 as an Intern:
"As a recent graduate – freshly unemployed – I was looking to embark on a career that allows for positive social impact. Admittedly, the chances seemed vague. But Action West London was one in particular that stood out from the list of companies (or more accurately, a charity and social enterprise) that I was searching for. With mere chances of success I applied - to be part of changing the lives of local community members through employment – and thankfully, Action West London opened that door to employment for me. And that was the start of my internship with Action West London.
My role as Fundraising Coordinator allowed me to get an all-round, good sense of all the various projects run by the charity, which helps to improve its local community in and through many ways. Reflecting back on my experience, I should highlight what it was like to be part of the dedicated team of staff, who takes professional but also personal approach at work. Simple things (but with great effect) such as being concerned for and caring for each other, that starts from top to bottom of the organisation, provided for that personal touch, which resonates also in helping out in our communities– that one step further. It really changed my perspective and am confident to say that it was a true representation of what it means to be ‘professional’, that it’s not just about having a suit on, but having each other’s back, i.e. crying or laughing in front of colleagues is not something to be regarded as unprofessional but an opportunity to understand each other better.
Despite all that I have gained (not to mention the vocational and people skills), I should point out some of the challenges, especially in the midst of the sector-wide financial pressures that the charity has been facing in the duration of my internship (and still continues to do so). The restrictive funding environment has not been pleasant at all, putting pressures on time and all the good wish of the staff to help people. The main challenge of course is to KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. I do hope that Action West London will, out of its resilience, fight through these times of austerity and not lose the momentum of providing that professional and personal help and support.
Just to summarise my experience, despite all the challenges it has been the utmost rewarding experience and has been a major stepping stone to my next vocation – and I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for the support of my managers and colleagues. Thank you team, and keep up the good work!"
Olivia volunteered with AWL for 4 months and 13 days and got involved with the Work Programme project. She helped the advisors with clients; Duties she undertook was updating the client’s CVs, helping clients with filling job application forms and one-to-one talk with clients discussing their job objectives. She also helped with the admin side of the project. Now she is working as a career advisor for young people, working with Pre Neet and Target Neets, 16-24 olds.
"I absolutely loved volunteering for Action West London. You were all very welcoming and friendly and the training was so useful. It helped me a lot with my course and with getting the job I have now! I would recommend it to anyone. One thing that may be worth increasing is the opportunities to volunteers, less admin more careers advisor shadowing and work. Still absolutely loved it and miss the team."
Kiernan Perrotti, Marketing Intern, is here at AWL for 7 weeks working on the Action Recruitment and Acton Market project. Kiernan is currently studying Applied Legal studies and Political Theory at Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts:
"I got very excited when I learned about this opportunity because I would finally get the opportunity to work for something that I was passionate about. I have previously had experiences working for law offices or political parties, but nothing seemed to really match or give me the opportunities that I was looking for to assist in the community. Now, even though I have just started my internship, I know that this has shaped my future as I now know that I want to work with similar projects in my future career path.”
Aruna Mohan (pictured below), Information, Advice & Guidance and Communications Intern, is here at AWL for 6 months working on various projects including the Work Programme and Motivation Works. She is also setting up communications for AWL. Aruna is currently finishing a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School in London:
“I wanted to gain experience within the charity sector and really expand my horizon on what really interested me, in particular, helping out local communities. I really think AWL’s mission of assisting people not just back into employment but also to education or setting up their own social enterprises through the Acton Market project is a wonderful way to reach out to the community and make sure everyone gets a chance and a say. Having been here for the last 2 months has taught me so much not just about small charities but also about a world of communications through social media and guidance really can affect change.”
Local Volunteer, Florence Masson (pictured below) has previously worked in the recruitment sector for international companies in retail, hospitality and entertainment in France and UK:
“I chose to volunteer for AWL because I wanted to participate to help unemployed Individuals living in West London to find sustainable employment with the work program. It is a fantastic opportunity to work with a dedicated team and to assist people in the community. I have also previously worked in the recruitment industry which I enjoy.”
Local Volunteer, Jatinder (pictured below) has been volunteering for Action West London since February 2016:
“I chose AWL as I always wanted to Volunteer with vulnerable people, help people in my local community and make a difference. I moved to London in November 2015 and previously worked in the Private Sector for the Manufacturing Industry. Volunteering for a Charity has given me a new approach, I have gained new and valuable skills. From my past work experience; it has given me transferable skills which have been utilised by The Motivational Works programme.”
A student from the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College chose Action West London to do a one week work experience to learn more about the not-for-profit and charity sector.
Below is a letter that was written by this student to Action West London about the time that was spent here:
“Thank you for allowing me to spend a week at Action West London in June 2016. I enjoyed working in Unit 8 and (Work Programme and FSF Motivation Works) with Anne, Phillip, Fotios, Kurshed, Oudu and Huda.
I found it really useful to be in a real workplace; the most important thing I learnt was that people need to get to work in order to reduce taxes. This will help me prepare for the world of work by helping improve in my leadership and using the knowledge & skills used as an advantage in my future career. The Placement also helped me to realise that I have good skills in IT, enthusiasm & initiative, time management & organisation and integrity. However, I can do more to develop my skills in communication & being further involved in teamwork.
Thank you for taking the time to organise my placement, accepting me in Action West London and making me feel part of the team despite being there only for one week.”
If you would like to volunteer or intern with Action West London, please click here.