During the pandemic, our lovely Courtroom Manager, Jasmine, has volunteered as a team leader on the food parcel delivery team. Not only has Jasmine coordinated 374 food parcel deliveries but she has also made several deliveries herself too.

During the pandemic, your role as a volunteer has had an enormous, positive, direct impact on our community, what do you think it has meant to you? At the start of the pandemic I felt quite worried, as I'm sure many others did too. Volunteering has allowed me to direct my energy towards something positive, in many ways it has helped me as much as it has other people. Have you had any stand out moments during your time volunteering over the last couple of months? One moment that really stood out for me was when I delivered a food parcel to an elderly lady who had been isolated for a number of weeks, she was quite emotional when she answered the door. She seemed really grateful, not just for her food parcel but to see another person and have a brief chat. I told her about our chat line and gave her a leaflet, it really made what we're doing feel worthwhile. If we can help alleviate even one person's struggle it's all worth it. I was just thankful I was able to direct her to some resources that may help.

Prior to Covid-19, what was your experience of volunteering? Before I began working at The Old Courts I spent 4 years studying education and child development at university, during this time I volunteered in numerous primary schools that were deemed to be in 'disadvantaged areas'. I feel really passionate about levelling the playing field in providing equal opportunities for all children, especially at a young age. Such a sentiment is part of why I enjoy working at The Old Courts so much, they serve a similar purpose in providing opportunities within the Arts for our local community. If others in our community are considering volunteering, what are the best reasons to recommend it? If you're thinking of volunteering I can't recommend it enough. Education, NHS, policing, mental health and numerous other public services are really struggling under austerity and with the biggest recession approaching in over 100 years, now is more crucial than ever to get involved if you're able to. Aside from this the Arts will always need volunteers to make the events we all love possible. I suggest looking for local (CIC) charities as they're often small not-for-profit companies and will benefit from your help more so than bigger charities. Overall, all my experiences have been really fulfilling and definitely recommend it.