Get Involved

Akwaaba is a mutual aid project. Mutual aid is a form of political participation where people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions, not just through symbolic acts or putting pressure on politicians, but by actually building new social relations that are more survivable.*

We exist to meet a need for care––a need created by the UK border regime, racial capitalism and white supremacy. We also exist to help build the movement against these same systems of oppression and domination.

Mutual aid is about solidarity not charity. This means we strive to organize in a way that is participatory, horizontal and centres the people most affected. It means we commit, both individually and collectively, to actively developing an understanding of the systems that harm members of the Akwaaba community and to being part of the undoing of these systems.

Because we are entirely volunteer-run, commitment is important and we expect volunteers to attend the Sunday sessions at least twice a month so that we can stay open every week.

Beyond taking part in the Sunday sessions, volunteers need to dedicate time to doing the learning and organizing that makes Akwaaba a project of solidarity not charity. In concrete terms, this involves taking some time individually for reflection and learning (we put together resources to support this); attending meetings about once a month where we come together to reflect, learn and organize; and occasionally taking on tasks in between sessions.

Below you can find descriptions of the different volunteer roles. If you are interested in any of these, get in touch and we will let you know if we are currently recruiting. Please bear with us if the recruitment process takes a while.

If you have specialist skills or experience which might be relevant to our project but do not apply to the roles listed here, you are also welcome to email.

Unfortunately, for safeguarding reasons the minimum age for volunteering at Akwaaba sessions is 18.

(*definition borrowed from Big Door Brigade)

Purpose of the role:

– coordinating set up and pack up of the space

– keeping everybody safe before, during and after the session

– keeping the space clean and tidy during the session by circulating through the space, looking out for the hazards  and responding to issues

– making sure activities have the appropriate allocated space available and that facilitators & participants know

Expected commitment:

One Sunday a month as premises supervisor, at least one other Sunday a month in a different role.

There are two shifts, premises supervisors can choose to do either shift or both shifts if they are available:

  • First shift: 12.30-4pm 
  • Second shift: 3.30-7pm

Further details including the training process and a more detailed role description available as part of the Akwaaba induction process.  Email hello@akwaaba.org.uk if you are interested.

 

We are recruiting 1-2 volunteers to join the transitional steering committee for a maximum period of 1 year, before we all dissolve and step into other roles at Akwaaba… 

Transitional steering committee member role description

The time commitment is around 2 hours per week, in addition to the time you otherwise commit to Akwaaba sessions.

If you are interested in applying, please email hello@akwaaba.org.uk explaining  your motivation and experience, or have a chat with Kasia, Lisa or Mike. The closing date is the 30 September 2019.

Sundays 1pm – 4pm or 3pm – 7pm

Expected commitment: 2-4 Sunday sessions per month, 1 Saturday training session every 3 months, 1 weekday meeting every 3 months, occasional other meetings and events

Do you speak Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Russian or Ukrainian? Some of our members struggle to communicate in English as well as having other vulnerabilities. We need volunteers to support them during our sessions including to access the activities that we offer. You would work directly with members of our community, making them feel relaxed and welcome in the space, being open for conversation, games, arts and crafts and supporting them with translation needs.

To apply, email volunteers@akwaaba.org.uk for a volunteer registration form.

Expected commitment: 2-4 Sunday sessions per month, 1 Saturday training session every 3 months, 1 weekday meeting every 3 months, occasional other meetings and events

Do you have computer maintenance skills that you could use in our sessions? We need volunteers to maintain our stock of laptops and printers – they are all second hand and often need tweeking to get them running properly. Computer volunteers also help people use the laptops to access the internet, complete application forms or write letters.

To apply, email volunteers@akwaaba.org.uk for a volunteer registration form.

Sundays 1pm – 4pm or 3pm – 7pm

Expected commitment: 2-4 Sunday sessions per month, 1 Saturday training session every 3 months, 1 weekday meeting every 3 months, occasional other meetings and events

Welcome volunteers are the heart of the Akwaaba community. You will work directly with visitors to the project, making them feel relaxed and welcome in the space, being open for conversation or board games, supporting them to use computer facilities and running workshops.

You do not need to be an extravert to be a welcome volunteer, but you must be proactive in sessions! You should be comfortable and enthusiastic about engaging all our visitors in conversation. That includes people from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, and with a wide range of perspectives and life experiences. People you speak to may have particular needs associated with displacement, trauma, economic hardship, or mental health issues. The people who most need the support of a Welcome Volunteer will not initiate conversations for themselves. That means it is your job to identify and speak to people who are on their own.

You will be called upon to solve problems that arise during sessions and ensure the space is safe and clean. We encourage Welcome Volunteers to take on more responsibility by arranging workshops, attending training session and participating in decision making at the project’s organising meetings.

We are particularly seeking people who have experience of working with migrants and/or a genuine interest in tackling the issues faced by our community. 2 Sundays per month is a minimum commitment, however we are looking for people who can commit to the project 3-4 Sundays per month. To apply, email volunteers@akwaaba.org.uk for a volunteer registration form. The second stage of the application process involves meeting our Welcome Volunteer Coordinator during a Sunday session.

Akwaaba’s Storytelling Group  takes place on a Sunday from 2.30-4.30 pm. It is cofacilited by two to three practicing writers and each session is led by one of these writers. We provide a safe, creative space for participants to meet in solidarity and friendship, to explore experiences and share stories. Sometimes we discuss short texts and poems; sometimes we write, tell or record our stories.

We are looking for a practising writer to join us as another cofacilitator.  If you are interested, please contact storytelling@akwaaba.org.uk

 

Main responsibilities:

  • You’d lead sessions, every two or three weeks.
  • You’d provide support for participants during sessions led by the other facilitators.
  • You’d offer one-to-one personalised support to participants on Sundays.
  • You’d contribute to planning sessions.
  • You’d be able to commit to attending the group from 2.30- 4.30pm most Sundays.
  • You’d accept and adhere to Akwaaba polices regarding: safeguarding of vulnerable adults policy, confidentiality policy, equality and diversity policy, data protection and privacy policy

Requirements

Essential experience and skills

  • Practising writer
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Good at expressing thoughts and ideas
  • Ability to work in an inclusive way
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to relate positively and in a non-discriminatory way to people at all levels, from a range of backgrounds and communities.
  • Creative approach to what stories are and how they can be told

 

Personal Qualities:

  • Friendly and able to build rapport with people
  • Open-minded flexibility
  • Reliability

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Background in writing
  • Experience in facilitating writing/storytelling workshops for adults

Children’s Volunteers
 
Shifts: 1-4pm, 2-5.30pm, or 3-6.30pm on Sundays
Minimum commitment: 2 sessions per month for at least 6 months

We’re looking for more children’s volunteers to be part of Akwaaba’s Children’s Space. We need people who can:
  • be part of a collective commitment to making Akwaaba a non-hierarchical, anti-racist space
  • provide a supportive, safe, friendly and fun environment for children and young people
  • help resolve conflicts between children and respond with care and support to challenging behaviour
  • facilitate and assist with children’s activities
  • supervise children and/or children’s areas
  • Listen to and recognise our young members and the difficulties they face
  • Build strong relationships with our young members and support them to be involved in shaping Akwaaba’s children’s project

We see around 40 children and young people between the ages of 3-17 each week and run a range of activities and workshops.

Prior experience working with children is helpful but not essential. Akwaaba is a voluntary project and we do not have the capacity to provide more than basic training.

 
A DBS check will be required if you do not have a valid certificate from within the last 6 months. We can help with this.
 
We are particularly keen to hear from:
 
*people of colour 
*Arabic speakers
*Italian speakers

If you’d like to apply or have questions, we’d love to hear from you — please email Andrea at kids@akwaaba.org.uk 

We are seeking a volunteer with charity fundraising experience to help keep Akwaaba running on a secure financial footing.   Most of our funding comes from trusts and foundations, but we also raise money through community fundraising like sponsorships, crowdfunders and fundraising events.

The role involves

  • Keeping our fundraising planner up to date
  • Managing our fundraising strategy so we stay on top of the applications we need to make every year, and so we can avoid writing stressful applications at the last minute
  • Writing applications to trusts and foundations
  • Supporting other volunteers to write applications (e.g. by providing help with budgeting, access to documents etc)
  • Meeting with our budgeting working group to discuss fundraising needs and priorities

Get in touch with hello@akwaaba.org.uk if you are interested!

We’re looking for experienced volunteer youth/children’s workers to help us plan, manage and take responsibility for the children’s sessions at Akwaaba. Each week two children’s supervisors plan, manage and take responsibility for the children’s session.

Supervisors will need to co-supervise children’s sessions once a month and then help out as a children’s volunteer once a month too. Sessions take place on Sunday afternoons. The shift times for co-supervisors are 1-7pm, whilst children’s volunteers can volunteer between 1-4pm/2-5.30pm/3-6.30pm

We try to organise fun and engaging activities for around 40 children age 3-16 every Sunday, whilst also making sure that they remain supervised and safe. Most of our young members are living in severe poverty and some have had traumatic experiences. Many of the children we work with are therefore particularly vulnerable.

We’d really like to hear from you if you have experience or interest in working with children and young people at risk of exclusion and/or with psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Responsibilities of the role

The following responsibilities will be split equally between co-supervisors on any given week:

– Planning 6 activities for the session you co-supervise once a month (including preparing/sourcing materials and resources)
– Setting up and cleaning up the children’s space
– Supporting 9 children’s volunteers during the session
– Ensuring that the session is running safely 

Please contact Andrea if you are interested in the role or would like further information

Children’s workshop facilitators 

Could you help us run fun workshops for children and young people?

Do you have a skill, craft or passion that you would like to share on a one off or regular basis?  We’re looking for children’s workshop facilitators to help us entertain and engage our young members. We see around 40 children age 3-16 each week and would welcome workshops aimed at any age group. All ideas are welcome – anything from dance to storytelling!

In the past, we’ve run dance, film-making, and music workshops.

To run a workshop with children at Akwaaba or for further information, contact Eve.

We are looking for Football Volunteers to supervise the children playing in our 5-a-side cage from 3-6pm.  The role basically involves sorting teams, refereeing and making sure everyone is playing in a positive and safe way.  If you don’t have a DBS check, you’ll need to register for one.  Understanding the rules of football is an optional extra.

We aim to have one drop-in arts and crafts workshop at Akwaaba every week.  The workshops should be accessible, safe and not intimidating – other than that we are open to whatever ideas you have!  Past workshops include drawing, painting, printing, clay modelling, leatherwork amongst many others.  If you have a skill, craft or passion that you would like to share at Akwaaba either on a one-off or regular basis, get in touch!

 

Sundays 11.30am-12.30pm

We need volunteers with access to a car/cargo bike to help with food collections in the Stoke Newington area.