SEE US IN A NEW LIGHT
Celebrating Our Volunteers – James
As part of National Volunteers’ Week, 1-7 June 2020, we are celebrating our amazing volunteers and saying a huge thank you to them for the invaluable contributions that they make to Newcastle Cathedral.
Here we shine a spotlight on James, a Volunteer Project Assistant at the Cathedral, as he shares a little about himself…
Describe your best weekend
My best weekend would have to be when I spent a week in Nashville for my 21st birthday. Although my family weren’t there I certainly made some great friends and life long memories, despite the hangover!
Tell us about a memorable holiday / event
One of the most memorable things I’ve ever done was to study abroad in America. At first it was daunting, but I loved every minute of it. I got to meet new people, experience new cultures, foods (a lot of them fried!), whilst travelling to places like Boston and Austin, Texas too.
Post-COVID-19, if you could be whisked away to anywhere for 2 dream days where would you go?
So I guess if I could spend 2 days anywhere after this, it would be as close as possible to a desert island, maybe in the Caribbean somewhere. Some tranquillity would be ideal with all that’s going on.
Have you tried any new foods or perfected any recipes during lockdown?
Quite recently I’ve been trying my hand at making more vegan recipes which, for the most part were decent, and just decent, partly down to my culinary skills. I’ve really been trying a lot of Thai and Mexican food too, which are my favourites.
Have you got any new hobbies you’ve picked up during lockdown?
Since lockdown began, we’ve all had a lot of free time on our hands so I decided to get back into playing my guitar and piano. Recently though I’ve started learning the harmonica too, which at this point isn’t the best, but practice makes perfect. Otherwise I’ve really been enjoying being in my garden.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when COVID-19 is over?
Apart from get a haircut, I’ll definitely go and visit the rest of my family first, then go for some food and drinks with my friends.
How long have you volunteered at the Cathedral / what is your role / what made you choose to volunteer with us?
Currently I’m working for the Cathedral at home, but I started there in mid-January, after coming home from America. I’m actually a placement student from Northumbria University, studying Geography. Though I do plan on popping back into Cathedral House and giving a hand when I get back to university as I really enjoy working there. My role at the Cathedral is Project Assistant, and I chose the Cathedral as my placement because the National Lottery Heritage Fund project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such a beautiful building like our Cathedral undergo redevelopment.
How would others at the Cathedral describe you?
If I had to say in one word, probably, pews! As I was in charge of the sale and removal of them before lockdown.
Volunteering is a fulfilling way to give back to the community and, as well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing and makes you feel great in return too!
It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.
If you have been inspired and are interested in becoming a volunteer at Newcastle Cathedral, please get in touch with our Project Manager, Lindy Gilliland, by email to find out how to get started.
Want to read more volunteering stories to inspire you? Click here.