Volunteer Spotlight on Jo Biglin
Name: Jo Biglin
How long have you been a volunteer at Revive? 4.5 years
What is your volunteer role at Revive? I volunteer at Wednesdays drop in and I am expert in refugee travel document applications!
How did you first get involved with Revive?
It’s hard to properly remember now. I was appalled by the treatment of people seeking asylum by our government and the harmful discourse that was used by the media to discuss immigration. So I think it stemmed from there that I wanted to try and make a difference.
What was your background before volunteering at Revive (e.g. job/career, other volunteer experience, travel, family life)
I was just finishing my degree in Psychology and just about to start an MSc. I ended up carrying out research at Revives allotment project and how it improved people seeking asylum and refugees wellbeing
What do you think the best things about Revive are?
- The strong sense of family and welcoming-ness that I feel when I am here
- That we don’t give up on people
What has been your highlight so far in your volunteering experience at Revive?
There’s too many!!
I think when I finish on a Wednesday knowing that I have made a small difference in someone’s life is really rewarding.
I love the sharing of stories and cultures
I think the main highlight is working with someone who has literally just arrived in the UK maybe a couple of weeks ago and then seeing that person again in 6 months times or a year and seeing how far they have come and knowing that some of that progression was because of the support that we give. It is really empowering and humbling.
If I had to pinpoint an actual moment I would say that there have been two times I have been at REVIVE when a person has been granted status in the morning and then come to REVIVE straight after. Given the struggle that people go through to get their asylum claim accepted this moment is one of immense relief and happiness. I cannot imagine what it feels like but it fills me with such joy seeing that person so happy and partly sharing that moment with them. It made me cry – both times.
And of course Shazia’s and Cynthia’s food!!!
Anything else you wish to share/say…
I want to thank the REVIVE family for supporting me through my studies