London

Case studies

David and Mussie

David:
“I had been wanting to become involved in some voluntary work for a while in order to give something back. Living and working in London, however, can be difficult enough o­n its own, without committing time to something else. I spent a while looking for the right kind of scheme, and having my name o­n the TimeBank list gave me lots of suggestions.

The Time Together scheme first appealed to me because of the flexible time commitments, a couple of hours every fortnight sounded perfect, and so far it has been. The other thing that appealed to me was working with refugees. I didn’t know a lot about this area, but what I did hear, I didn’t like. The tabloid press’ opinion o­n refugees in this country didn’t strike the right note with me and I knew plenty of people who felt the same. I felt that by being involved in this scheme I would be doing my bit to challenge the negative stereotype that the UK press have created.

I have been o­n the program for a year now. My mentee and I meet every 2 weeks or so for a drink and a chat. I would be lying to say that I have solved a lot of his problems, however I think we have tackled a few. I get the feeling that our chats have helped him get to grips with what must have been a big change for him. Having to move to a new country with your family must be a big change at the best of times, but when the new country speaks a different language and has a growing resentment in the press towards immigrants and refugees, it must be even more trying. I like to think that having me to talk to about everyday problems makes his transition easier.

My involvement in Time Together has given me a great deal of personal satisfaction.  More importantly, it has given me the opportunity to meet an extremely interesting and likable friend who I normally wouldn’t have had the chance to meet.”

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