Tahira has been volunteering with us for 10 months as a youth worker at the Juice Bar youth club.
What is your volunteer role with Regenerate, please describe what you do in a typical session?
I am a volunteer youth worker at the Juice Bar. Therefore I work alongside Charlotte during her Tuesday and Wednesday sessions. On Tuesdays we hold ‘juicy juniors’- which is an after school group for the younger people that attend juice bar from school years 6- 8. In these sessions we often use the time to interact and discuss our days, there have been occasions where baking and art such as marbling have taken place, and films have been watched too. It is overall just a fun place for the young people to come and feel safe. In addition to that, a girls group is run after where we converse about things that are of importance to the young women who attend; building bonds with them through confidence enhancing activities, as well as special guests coming in to aid in guiding the young women on aspects of life such as self defence, self appreciation and nutrition. While on a Wednesday between 6- 8 pm it is an open session for all aged 11- 18 to come in. This time is often used to play games- whether it be board games or card games- and talk to the young people about their worlds. I feel that my role mainly entails being myself and just being there for the young people if they choose to attend the juice bar for a session.
What do you love most about volunteering with Regenerate?
Everything. The atmosphere is so enjoyable, from the staff to the young people, it is all so loveable. Its shown me how much appreciation can be had for the diversity of characters that can be found in Roehampton, and the world. Especially in the young people. Being at Regenerate has shown me the beauty in how different people can be and that it is truly a good thing. I enjoy the relaxed and honest nature of the work and the fact that they have given me the opportunity to do something that I really do LOVE.
What has challenged you most about volunteering with Regenerate?
It is quite a personal challenge, but it has challenged my confidence. It has been a chance to grow within myself and become more self- assured through the work. It is one of those circumstances that many of the young people believe that you are there just for their sakes, but are probably unaware of the impact that they are also having on your life.
What has most surprised you about your involvement with Regenerate/any lessons learnt?
The way people see in you what you fail to see in yourself. I would say I learnt this the most during girls group. The sessions made me see how negative about ourselves we can be, yet others do not perceive us the same way. It is all about giving each other a chance before we make a decision about one another- very often we are proven wrong. This is also true about how we look at ourselves. Love yourself, flaws and all.