Volunteers Week 2020

This year we were not able to celebrate Volunteers Week in our usual way with a face to face get together and celebration due to Covid-19.

However we wanted to mark the occasion by featuring different volunteers throughout the week on our blog and social media to recognise the incredible contribution they make to our service users and to the whole community.

We are also hosting a Fun Quiz Zoom for all our volunteers on Thursday 11th June at 7pm to say thank you.

Day 1: Annabelle

Annabelle had recently started volunteering with us on Adults Clubs, and since the Covid-19 pandemic started she has continued to be a wonderful and invaluable volunteer to us, helping with shopping, phone call befriending, putting our staff appreciation packs together and also getting donations from local groups to add to these appreciation baskets.

For these reasons we nominated her to feature in the Islington Life Volunteers Week Blog.

Some quotes from Annabelle below and pictured below left helping with our frontline key worker appreciation baskets:

What got you into volunteering?

“The main inspiration is from my amazing younger sister, who has downs syndrome and autism, and has achieved so much independence because of great support work (and my brilliant mum!).  My day job is  making documentaries for tv, lots of these centre around the lives of disabled individuals and their families. I feel privileged to be allowed into their lives and for the time they give so I think its important for me to connect and support this outside of my ‘work.'”

What are your favourite parts of the role?

“At the clubs its great to see friendships blossoming and some growth in independence and confidence when doing different activities. It great to know that you are providing some entertainment and an outlet that people look forward to, and rely on, especially when someone might have had not such a good day until then. I love joining in and being part of the fun to be honest- so the sillier the game the better for me usually!”


Day 2: #blackouttuesday

Instead of a usual post we participated in #blackouttuesday to show solidarity to the #blacklivesmatter movement.

At Centre 404 we pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive organisation and working together to build meaningful communities, in line with our shared values.
We stand wholeheartedly for equality, yet understand that there is still much to be done, and that we must continue to use our voices and to educate ourselves and learn from each other to truly stand up against injustice.
We stand with you ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼🖤. Black Lives Matter. #blackouttuesday


Day 3: Jackie

Jackie has been a volunteer for 16+ years! Longer than our records show anyway and that Jackie can remember! 😊

“I’ve been a volunteer for a helluva long time”- Jackie

Jackie has volunteered on all sorts of clubs in our Learning & Leisure service over the years as you can see some some of these lovely old photographs from our archives in this Instagram post.

She is also a keen dancer and does the most volunteer hours by a long way at 56 hours a month!

She currently volunteers on Happy Tuesdays (Adults 7-9:30pm), CYP Youth Group (Thursdays 4-6:30), Out & About Saturdays (Adults 1:30-4pm) She also volunteers on recruitment panels as part of our commitment to coproduction and will be on our Learning & Leisure committee.

“I like being a volunteer to meet new people and help people who need help.”

“Volunteering is a good experience, so if you ever be a volunteer you can learn things and you can see how people light up and smile, and that’s how you make friends.” – Jackie

She has previously won the Volunteer Action Islington Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 and this year won our Volunteer of the Quarter for February 2020. Thank you to Jackie- you’re a superstar!

“The lovely Jackie there’s so many nice things you can say about Jackie what I would say is how professional she is and if you need any help she will always always help you over the years how she gave me advice on service users that she knows I love working with Jackie she’s part of our team and I like her dedicated to use to centre 404 I could go on and on and on how lovely she is”

– Alyson (Support Worker on Learning & Leisure clubs)

“Jackie is a valued member of our team. Her commitment, passion to make difference in people`s lives and person-centred approach has benefited many service users across our clubs.

Jackie is positive, willing to learn and loved amongst service users and staff teams. We are so grateful to have Jackie on our team.”

-Anamaria (Head of Learning & Leisure Service)

Day 4: Rupert

Rupert has volunteered on our adults clubs for 6 years and was nominated for the Volunteer of the Quarter award for May/ June 2020 by Alyson who works with him on the clubs. Well done and thank you to Rupert!

“All the service users love him, he’s so positive and very enthusiastic with the group activities. He puts a lot of input into the group and he is so helpful with the activities or in the kitchen tidying up. I could go on and on and on what a fantastic volunteer he is! When it’s quiz night he prepares all the questions and make such an effort and we all have a fantastic night because of it. I really appreciate his hard work and I know the other staff members do as well because having him there makes it easier for us and the group runs really smoothly because he’s there.” – Alyson

Thank you Rupert- You’re a Superstar!