We met Abdiqani for the first time at De Montfort University’s “PAVE in 2017” event. He came across as cool, calm and collected, great at listening to others and a positive contrast to some of our more energetic volunteers. We convinced him to attend our “Introduction to Volunteering” training event at Focus in November that year, and he was impressed enough to officially join us in early 2018.

Since then, Abdiqani has been volunteering with our Leicestival project, all while undertaking his studies at DMU. He is amazingly reliable, having assisted with nearly all our weekly sessions, and motivated the young people at St. Georges Day Festival, Bring the Paint, the Christmas lights switch on and many more.

Abdiqani wanted to share some thoughts on his experience as a volunteer.

“What I love about volunteering at Focus is the fun environment, where you’re able to push yourself to try new things but knowing there is always someone to catch you if you fall.

“I have learnt a lot […] like dealing with young people in certain situations, [and the] planning that goes into sessions and festivals. I have seen an improvement in my leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork skills and confidence.

“I feel like I have had a positive impact on young people, but they’ve also had an impact on me. There have been many instances where we had a task to do like presenting in front of the group, which I was not fond about. I remember one young person saying they’re scared of standing in front of the group and presenting. I told them I am scared too, [but] we could do it together and that we would look more scared if we did not present than if we did. We stood up in front of the group and presented together.”