By Layba Nisar
In the coming months, we will be asking members from our dedicated Heston West Big Local team why they volunteer for us and what they get from volunteering! Today, we begin with Layba Nisar, 14 yrs old. She is one of our most enthusiastic, energetic and engaging young person involved. Through her hard work, community spirit and innovative thinking, she has made a fantastic impact in our local community and is an inspiring role model for young people.
Read her story below.
Why I volunteer?
I volunteer because I like going out and doing different things on different days as I meet new people and am able to try things, that are things I would have never imagined to do. I also volunteer because at home I would spend my time on computers which is very bad for my epilepsy, so me going out and helping my community, takes me away from these kinds of things which makes me happy that there is something I can do that won’t affect my health and will help others.
What have been my experiences?
I have been volunteering with Heston West for 1 year and a half, and have helped out in many activities and enjoyed my time getting involved. There were community events at the Brabazon Centre, Berkeley Academy, the YMCA Tumbler in Hayes, Cranford Community College and Parliament. At the centre was probably the first time I helped out in an event, I painted the centre and performed a dance. At Berkeley Academy there were summer fete that I helped in and the Winter Wonderland themed event. At the YMCA Tumbler we went to see young refugees and gave them donated Christmas gifts and played games with the children. I even did a dance performance for them and of course, played pool amazingly (just kidding I barely knew how to play)!
Parliament with the Big Local Youth Debates team: (left to right) Anjali Parmar, Layba Nisar and Lerin Bajaj.
At Cranford, there was many events like: the BBQ for local Traveller’s (I made cotton candy for everyone), the Big Local’s Youth Action Team’s Natural Disaster Awareness charity event (I was in charge of the raffles) and the Volunteer Awards Evening (I hosted the beginning). There are many more however these were by far my favourite. I also attended many workshops for the Big Local and did fun things like clean-up day when we, as a team went around the community cleaning up and knocked on people’s doors and gave them free roses. I also attend the Big Local MADE Film club every Sunday and Drama with Zero Culture. At the Film Club, I have many adverts advertising our events on YouTube. I also run debating sessions every Tuesday afternoons for young people, I teach participants new techniques and skills required to debates effectively. I have been to Parliament with my Big Local team and we presented in front of MPs. Personally, I thought this would be the last session, however Seema Malhotra (MP Feltham and Heston) told me not to stop as it is very important for the community to have these kinds of things. My experiences in volunteer work have been so fun for me and I seriously can’t wait to carry on with it.
What do I get out of volunteering?
What I get out of volunteering with Taz and the Big Local is everyday going home with a smile on my face waiting to go and do things with the team and it’s so fun to do. If you would personally know me you would know I’m a very lazy person and for me to like this is something I thought would never happen. Taz is a very kind person who is so approachable and easy to talk to, is probably the main reason why I volunteer because, I did a lot of activities outside of school and all of them weren’t fun for me as either teachers weren’t approachable or people but Heston West opened a new path in my life and when they say ‘bringing it all together’ they mean it.
Layba with the Big Local volunteer team at our Community Clean Up Day in February 2018.