Volunteer Elia Miglianico from France explains what it was like to volunteer at the Hammersmith and Fulham Volunteer Centre:
‘I worked in the HFVC during three months.
When I arrived in London, I went to the HFVC office to meet my boss, Luisa Messina, the staff and volunteers.
It was very interesting to meet new people and hear English spoken with different accents. They explained to me what they do, and who does what.
Everyone was happy and curious to meet me, and it was the same for me because I had never worked in another country except mine.
They asked me where I was from, where I lived... and I tried to answer with the few words of English I knew at the beginning.
My work consisted of reception and administration work. The work at the reception was more complicated than I thought at the beginning because it was in English, but, after one or two weeks, I was more comfortable and I started to answer the phone. I also updated V-Base [volunteering opportunity database].
In September, I started to go to AgeUK to help with the afternoon tea.
When I arrived in England, all people told me I had good English but I needed to improve my conversation.
Everyone tells me now that my English has really improved, and I can see that:
The team is very professional and very nice so if someone would like to have a volunteering experience go there.’
- I can have a real conversation with people, but only with one person at a time.
- I can answer the phone without stress!
- I can take the bus on my own because someone showed me the way.
- I can write a report in English.
- I can ask someone in the street for directions.
Everyone at HFVC thanks Elia for being an amazing volunteer. She is greatly missed and always welcome back at any time.