Despoina Matziarli - Volunteer
After months of planning, “Lighthouse Futures Trust” launched their Connections Club for people with an autistic spectrum condition, aged 18-30, who want to hang out and socialise with others in their age group without the fear of being marginalised. I personally, being from a foreign country, Greece to be specific, often had the feeling of being a little left out when I first came to the UK. I moved here to study Psychology and even though I was in the same social and educational spectrum with all, I always had this feeling of being somehow distant, maybe different. I realised that not being exactly the same as others, having differences, is a privilege and not something to be ashamed of. It was that moment when I decided to set aside all my insecurities and try to get my life in my own hands, move on, go out, meet people, and be confident about how I am.
I wish everyone who feels in a similar way is able to feel a part of a group and this is the main reason I decided to apply to volunteer in this project. To help in the creation of a group. A group in which all its members feel welcome and wanted.
It was my first time volunteering with the “Lighthouse Futures Trust” and I have to say that I left the venue more than happy and absolutely excited for our next meeting. Everything was perfectly organised, in a very friendly environment, and everyone who came was willing to chat and get to know each other with a huge smile on their faces. No one was excluded from the conversations and everyone had a vote for what they would like to do in future meetings. I am honestly looking forward to seeing them all again, find out more about their lives, and do numerous and fun indoor or outdoor activities with the most special social group I have ever been a part of.