Meet the Volunteers – Laura

Name: Laura

Age: 30

Country of Origin: France

Hostel Manager at Railton House (Paddington)

What brought you to London?

When I first came to the UK, my aim was to stay for a short period of time. It has now been 10 YEARS. I am living in this amazing, cosmopolitan city and I feel very lucky.

Why did you volunteer at LHA?

I was so determined to improve my English and make some new friends, LHA London’s volunteer scheme helped me to achieve this whilst saving a lot of money.

Describe a typical ‘day in the life of a volunteer’ at LHA?

I was working part time as a nanny (and offering homework help) whilst volunteering at LHA London (this enabled me to have a job during my spare time). In fact, I was only volunteering for 20 hours per week and they provided me with free laundry, meals and shared accommodation. It’s very helpful when you want to live in an expensive city like London. I could also use their gym (again free of charge).

Sharing a room was not always easy but it’s a great opportunity to meet new people from all over the world and also learn about new culture.

I also love travelling and it gave me the opportunity to experience and share in the cultures of others.

With the other volunteers, we spent time together and created a little community on our own such as making dinner together, trying everyone else’s food from our country of origin and learning each other’s language which was fun.

We also explored the city and went to museums and theatres. We loved going to Camden Town, Shoreditch and markets such as Portobello Road Market, Camden Market, Borough Market and Brick Lane Market.

I learned a lot from volunteering at LHA which gave me the opportunity to climb the ladder during those years which I’m very grateful for.

I’m now a Hostel Manager at one of LHA’s hostels. I started as a volunteer cleaner for a couple of months and then as a volunteer receptionist. After that, as a paid staff member, as a supervisor, then Assistant Manager and was recently appointed Hostel Manager.

I really believe that volunteering can be for anyone. It is very rewarding. It’s also a great way to meet new people, gain new or use existing skills and see the city whilst gaining valuable experience.

So, if you are studying, want to improve your English, make some friends and discover the city without ruining your pocket, LHA London volunteer scheme is made for you.

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