The Love For Volunteering Is Real
By Antonia Smith
Love Volunteering is an initiative to welcome new volunteers who may be interested in Imagine Croydon’s Mentoring and Befriending services. The window display is at the Volunteer Croydon Centre in the Centrale Croydon shopping Centre, which started on Monday 5th – Friday 16th February. In support of ‘Time to Talk’ and informing potential Imagine volunteers about mental health and our services, we will be running an information and induction day on Wednesday 14th February, 12pm- 1:30pm. There’s also a chance to enter our prize draw, by filling out the Love Volunteering leaflet.
Jessica and another volunteer helped us setup the display, with posters, flowers, balloons and volunteering facts & quotes on foam heart shapes. The User Led Group members kindly wrote some messages about what they loved about Imagine. A member mentioned that Imagine got them into photography.
Jessica is the creator of the heart artwork which is the centrepiece for our display, when asked about the inspiration behind her heart painting, she mentioned….
“I painted the heart painting for a cover for a book called ‘Hearts for Hearts’. It is a book that I am working on with my partner which came about because we kept spotting random hearts in nature and around us. We took pictures and have been collecting these over a few years and wanted to do something good with these, so we decided to create a picture book and the proceeds would be donated to heart charities around the world. We are currently working on it and have had lots of contributions of heart pictures from people all over the world.”
She further explained why she volunteers for us, her work aspirations and raising awareness on Endometriosis …
“I joined Imagine because I wanted to gain some work experience and use my time and own personal experience with mental health to help others who may be struggling and give them some hope that life can be good and with support you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I am currently at University and studying to become an Art Therapist and hope to also use my creative skills to help people as art has helped me express and has been therapeutic for me in overcoming pain and trauma in my own life. I started painting to help me cope when I was taken ill and having surgery for Endometriosis. I started an online support group on Facebook called ‘Endo Fight Club’, and which now has 3,900 members worldwide. I was determined to create something good from my own adversities and pain and give hope and to inspire others to not give up and to follow their dreams no matter what happens and adversities we may face in life. I hope one day there will be a cure for endometriosis but in the meantime will continue to fight for cure and more awareness for this devastating illness which affects millions of women worldwide.”
A big thanks to all our volunteers and we look forward to working with our new ones!!
Facebook: Jessica Le Paintings & Art.