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Osla – volunteer case study

I came to DASH in December 2019 as at the time I was wanting to get more involved in social issues in my local area and was interested in working at the vulnerable women’s project.

I was immediately made to feel very welcome (the staff are all very friendly!) and as I really didn’t want to work on computers, as I spend quite a large amount of my time on them due to working as a private tutor (mostly online this year!), there were various options for me at DASH: the work I have done since then has been varied, ranging from putting up shelves, to sorting donations or up-cycling furniture, to writing notes in potential resident application interviews, to being given quite a bit of responsibility in trying to get the garden project up and running again, which had been a real success for residents in 2019.

This was all very exciting for me, having worked as a gardener myself for a few years, but never really been an organiser of an garden area (apart from at home!) and so I gained a lot from understanding how such a project could work: from seeking funds for the garden and drafting letters requesting financial assistance or donations of goods, to looking up the practicalities of edible plants and working out what would work best in the planters outside.

The team were always on hand for any support with all this and it was a great challenge for me. Unfortunately the whole Covid situation rather put a damper on being able to work directly with residents this year, however the garden was up and running and provided food and flowers alike!

I’ve really enjoyed the work at DASH so far and highly recommend it as a volunteer: there are so many opportunities for growth and it has also helped me gain an understanding of issues surrounding those threatened with homelessness as well.