VW2022: Interview with Ryk
Organisations volunteered for
Centrepoint, Chair Disco, City and Hackney Carers, Drinkline, Hackney Brocals, Hoxton Trust, Sense, Volunteer Centre Hackney
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Timothy Spall. He can play anyone.
Can you remember the first time you volunteered?
I first volunteered in Soho at Centrepoint, which is a charity for homeless young people. They had a hostel and we would cook their meals and do their washing. I’m not much of a cook so I’d do the preparation. I was about 26 then so I was able to relate to the young people staying there. I didn’t get much sleep because they all brought in their washing at midnight and then we’d be up at 7 in the morning.
What makes you happy?
Being with people and talking with people. Doing new things.
You’ve been volunteering with VC Hackney for a long time. What keeps your coming back?
I remember when there was only one person running VC Hackney. I used to go down to the old office in the Red Cross building on Dalston Lane. This was 1992-3, so I’ve been volunteering through VC Hackney on and off for 30 years. It’s a great organisation and the best way to find voluntary work in Hackney. There are literally about 50 roles on my profile. And I’ve always liked the people who’ve worked here.
What’s been your most rewarding volunteer role?
Drinkline, where I became the paid supervisor in the end. It was the only organisation at the time who would actually talk to people while they were drunk. That was the most demanding role, definitely, and probably the most rewarding.
I also enjoyed volunteering at the vaccination centres during the pandemic. It was the first thing that came up that allowed me to interact with people. When it was really busy I might meet 200 new people in a shift. It’s good obviously that it’s winding down but I’m actually sad in a way that it’s coming to an end.
What would your superpower be?
The ability to make people laugh.