Graduating to become a volunteer

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This week, Juanita became a volunteer at our Disability Advocacy Programme, the first young person to do so at the project

Juanita sitting in a chair with feather boas attached to it

For the past two years I’ve gotten to know Juanita as she has worked with us at the Disability Advocacy Programme (DAP) as part of our young people’s advisory group.

The advisory group is comprised of several young people and they help guide our work. I work with the group and the first time I met Juanita she was very quiet, preferring to work with a friend of hers in the group. But not now!

Since I’ve known Juanita, she has become a really confident and committed member of the group. She has been to Africa to volunteer, worked with policy issues, and has been involved in producing DVDs, photographs and other resources.

She has been incredibly helpful, always on time, great at generating ideas and always willing to go beyond what we expected. She helped a fellow member of the group get to meetings on time, and has also come in for extra meetings to help with funding applications, to work on her youth achievement awards and to say 'hello'.

Juanita pointing to two signs, one that she drew and one that reads 'Disability Advocacy Project'Our first young person to become a volunteer

I am really pleased that Juanita has become the first of the young people we work with to 'graduate' and become one of our volunteers. Yesterday was her first official day.

As a Volunteer Advisory Group Assistant Juanita will continue to work with the young people's advisory group. I know she will be a great asset and will be able to use all her skills and knowledge of the group to help support them.

She has already designed a poster for future funding applications and has been a great help around the office. Everyone at DAP looks forward to working with her.

Juanita is already looking to the future and has expressed her wish to become a paid member of staff. She is particularly hoping to have a role within administration.

But for now she is focusing on her new role as a volunteer. She said: 'I am really happy, excited and can’t wait to start.'

By Katherine Evans, Senior Project Worker at The Disability Advocacy Programme

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