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I came to Lincoln as a student studying for a degree in Sport Development, and through voluntary work undertaken alongside my degree I became deeply involved and interested in the city’s local communities that existed outside of the typical student lifestyle. After finishing my degree I decided to stay in the city I had grown to love, and also wanted to continue to contribute to improving and enhancing where I live; which is why I chose to volunteer with my Community Organiser Maaike Veenkamp.
Through past voluntary work I had developed a strong affiliation for the Monks Road area of Lincoln, and following the completion of my studies I also decided to move to the area. Even the words ‘Monks Road’ hold negative stereotypes for many Lincoln residents, and I was often questioned as to why I wanted to move there. However I believe the area is a fantastic place to live and has great potential to improve even further, and part of the reason I volunteer is that I want to make other people realise that.
Over the past year I have been out door knocking with Maaike and participated in pop up listening stalls. Together with a group of other committed volunteers we have organised two community litter picks which have seen nearly one hundred people attend, a weekly Saturday morning football project for young children, and a community music festival. We have also now formed a resident group called Action LN2, and together we voluntarily meet to organise the aforementioned projects, and are now beginning to plan the future actions we want to take.
I see Community Organising as truly an empowering form of volunteering. It enables local people to take the action they want in their community and at the same time address issues that also concern other residents.