It’s Volunteers’ Week 2021 (1-7 June). To celebrate we’re sharing stories of our volunteers throughout the week to showcase the amazing work they do.
Here’s more about Adalberto.
Adalberto volunteered with our Elders team, whilst studying for his MA at the Royal College of Art.
“In September 2019, I found Katherine Low Settlement browsing through the Royal College of Art’s volunteering opportunities. I started volunteering as a minibus assistant to pick up the elderly members, walking, talking, serving meals, and eating with them.
In January 2020, I also began conducting interviews, as part of my MA thesis, to record their experience in the KLS community, the activities involved, and how coming to the centre changed their daily lives. Then lockdown happened. Since then, I have been calling a number of elders on the phone each week, keeping them company and making sure they had somebody who cared for them.
The warmth and satisfaction derived from taking part in these services, and the gratitude of the members was enormous!
Volunteering at Katherine Low Settlement helped me to understand the needs, challenges, and aspirations of the older generations. I developed a clearer understanding of how elderly members live, their habits, and ways of engaging with them. I also experienced how a community centre works, what kind of activities are offered, when, and why. I learned that the most crucial characteristic of a volunteer is showing to the members care and kindness and that the time dedicated to the service is valuable for the members and me.
This opportunity profoundly informed the research and development of my MA final thesis in interior architecture at the Royal College of Art. The project is entitled “The United Generation” and talks about an ecosystem designed to regenerate a community into a citadel of conviviality, leisure, and renewable resources between old and new generations. The project addresses the challenges of ageing well and the cultural gap between younger and older generations. It proposes to go back to an Arcadian archetype where community, sustainability, and simplicity are the assets for prosperous living.
I am incredibly grateful I took part of this volunteering experience at Katherine Low Settlement as it shaped not only a lifetime project but also who I am today.”
A painting that Adalberto included in his final MA presentation
Our volunteers are truly amazing. They help us run all of our community services.
If you’re interested in volunteering then please fill in our ‘Volunteer Application Form’.
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