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)

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 Tigrinya? 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.

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

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!

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.