Going full circle: From client to BB volunteer

We are so happy to capture a moment with one of our young clients who is about to start a new journey as a customer sales assistant at a bank in Central London while starting a degree in Mathematics in September. This particular client has remained so dedicated to completing the Employment Academy programme to help her propel into a career she loves. We are so happy to share with you, her reflection on being a Breaking Barriers client and her growth into becoming a much valued BB volunteer.

+ How did you find/hear about Breaking Barriers?

It was an interesting situation because I approached Breaking Barriers via the internet because I was looking for support with housing and something of purpose to do. I was happy to get a call from the Cheif Executive of Breaking Barriers, Matthew, who did more than helped me with my goals but also assigned me a mentor to support me alongside workshops and events.

+ What about Breaking Barriers made you become a volunteer?

I believe in what Breaking Barriers stand they are a charity that is helping people who are settling in the UK and provide support and opportunities giving refugees a chance to succeed in the UK job market. The ideology is fantastic and a place where the Breaking Barriers’ team get together and make their client’s lives better, celebrate their achievement and work on their progression, it is a great environment to work in.

+ How would you describe your experience at Breaking Barriers?

To describe my time at Breaking Barriers, I would say that it was exciting, fun, full of laughter and support. I have nothing but fun times while at Breaking Barriers, we worked in Central London, and the environment was always busy and vibrant – there was never a dull moment.

+ What are/were your core responsibilities as a volunteer?

I worked behind the scenes with Mieke (Programme Manager) for the most part. I used Microsoft Office, such as Excel, word and Dropbox to put files in order. I also updated the folder every Friday to include new members. I enjoyed using the computer, so more often than not, it did not feel like work, and I cannot stress enough how amazing it is to work with lovely people who are rooting for their clients to succeed. This made my time there enjoyable.

+ Have you gained any skills or knowledge since volunteering with Breaking Barriers?

My communication skills got a lot better while at Breaking Barriers. I had very little work experience before, and I have gained so much knowledge of the world of work because I was kindly eased and supported in rather than thrown into the deep end, which was a big learning curve in itself. My Microsoft excel skills improved impressively also.

+ If someone was considering a volunteering position with Breaking Barriers what would you say to them?

Go for it. It would be a time well spent. The team are some of the loveliest people, and you would love every moment of your time with them. They also organise lots of great and fun activities which allows you to meet people and build a community of friends.