We at Lewisham Local are spending some time catching up with volunteers that we have connected with various projects in and around Lewisham. This interview is with Claudia Cueva-Yupanqui, a volunteer with GRACEaid.

How have you found your time at GRACE so far?

Despite not having met all the volunteers in person yet, it’s been really great to connect with the team virtually and over Whatsapp. They have made me feel welcomed and have adopted me into the GRACE family with kindness.
GRACE is always involved in multiple projects with other local charities. To name a few, GRACE decided to be a collection point for The Refugee Cafés new initiative. They also became a drop-off point for Glastonbury’s Festival Tent Campaign last month. All these projects are to support refugees and other destitute groups. In addition, they are always willing to share their resources or facilities with others for storage.

What role do you have at GRACE?

I help GRACE with their social media. This is a fantastic way to connect with our supporters and inform them of events, notices and donations needed.
I also help out at the charity shop in Leegate once a week.

How did you hear about the role?

I first heard about the role on the Lewisham Local Newsletter. Then I went to GRACE’s official website to find out more about the role and contacted someone from the team to apply for the position.

What particularly attracted you to this volunteering role?

I am passionate about digital marketing and social media. My experience in those areas led me to volunteer for the social media role at GRACE. Our social channels are a great way to communicate our message, which is “Anyone in need has the basics for a dignified existence”. We support those who have lost everything and are rebuilding their lives from scratch.

How has volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic been?

We have been overwhelmed with the amount of donations from locals. It’s been great, but busy in the shop. We’ve been trying to organise all the donations into different categories. It’s slowly getting sorted. We’re very happy to have re-opened the shop and it’s been amazing to see many people
shopping with us again.

If after reading this you feel like you want to get involved with volunteering in a local project then you can sign up to volunteer here.

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