Charlene Frame, Desiree Ivegbuna and James Atkins – Volunteer Food Packagers

Charlene Frame 

“Before this all kicked off, I was working as a hairdresser in Clapham Junction. Like so many others, I have been furloughed with work. With not much to do, I offered to volunteer with Voluntary Services Lewisham on the food packing. Mostly I work with James on getting the fruit and veg ready for the orders. It’s nice to meet the other people volunteering, and there is always a lot of laughter and some karaoke if the song is right! I have recommended volunteering to my wider friends and family as I really enjoy helping the local community.” 

Desiree Ivegbuna

“Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, I was working as a freelance television editor. I usually get booked up and very busy from March up to the end of the year but as the pandemic hit and everything shut down I found myself without work and all of my gigs got cancelled. I always wanted to do some volunteering and I suddenly found myself with lots of free time so when I saw volunteers were needed for food-packing I jumped at the chance and signed up immediately. 

“It has been brilliant, not only does it feel good to know that you’re helping people in need, it also helped me massively with coping with self-isolating on my own. I enjoy moving around a lot and it certainly gives you a bit of exercise and at the same time it is really nice to meet and get to know local people. There is a really nice sense of community. 

“I would definitely like to continue doing this in the future, even when my job market begins to pick up again.”

James Atkins 

“I joined Voluntary Services Lewisham to volunteer on the food packing every Monday and Wednesday afternoon since March. I applied to volunteer as I felt it was important to support the Lewisham community during this lockdown period. It has also been a lot of fun to meet new people and also get some of my friends to be a part of it. I mainly get the fruit and veg ready, and think I might have missed my true vocation of working on a stall! As well as my volunteering, I work for a charity Ataxia UK as a Community Programme Manager. My role is to develop projects and services for people affected by ataxia across the UK”

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