Connect Hackney

Volunteering at Connect Hackney's media group​

The benefits of volunteering

By Rosanna Giarraputo

I work for Bell Group, a family owned company – the largest painting and decorating contractor in Britain. Since we were founded in 1988, investing in the community has been an integral part of our work. 

As Bell Group undertake a lot of work in East and North London, I researched ways I could volunteer as a way of giving something back to the local community. That’s when I and came across Hackney CVS. On reading about the amazing work that they do I knew that I had to get involved and on meeting Natasha Julien, Connect Hackney’s media group facilitator, I learnt more about what Hackney CVS do, including the senior media group they run in Haggerston. 

I immediately signed up to volunteer for the Monday morning sessions. In total, by the end of the 3-month course, I will have helped out with 11 sessions from start to finish.

Supporting group members

My role is helping Natasha by giving extra support to those within the group that may get stuck and make sure that they’re confident to carry out the tasks which Natasha gives them. 

By the end of the course the learners will be able to use various IT platforms including laptops, tablets and Smartphones and go on to write a piece in Hackney Senior. We live in an age where technology is constantly evolving and used for everything. Even to confirm arrival for a GP appointment at your local surgery you need to use a PC. 

While it’s so efficient and should make life easier, for many people they are left feeling alienated because they don’t have the knowledge or tools needed to do things, or have to rely on the kindness of friends, family and even strangers to help them. 

We are family!

It’s really rewarding for me to see each of the learners be inspired by the sessions and watch how they’ve put these new skills into practice. It’s great to see them all empowered with this new-found knowledge and that they can do things for themselves when they want to. It’s also special to be a part of getting to know each member of the group. 

In some way, I feel that we’ve become a sort of family. I’ve learnt a lot from each of them and always look forward to the next session. It’s been a great reminder that technology is a useful tool, but as people we still need face to face interaction. Thank you Natasha, the team at Hackney CVS, and all the group members for letting me a part of the unit. You are all truly amazing and I’m blessed to have been a part of this.

Rosanna Giarraputo, Bell Group Letchworth, community engagement coordinator.

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