Alex with team leader Josh in Hopton House
Alex joined the Brixton Team back in 2014, and here she talks about what day-to-day life is like as a CHIPS volunteer.
As a CHIPS volunteer team member I live in the Brixton flat and dedicate some of my spare time to volunteering on and around our estate, but I work elsewhere in London. I hope this gives a flavour of what it’s like to be part of the Brixton Team:
At 8am we meet as a team to start off our week with prayer for our estate and for one another. We believe that God is already at work through wonderful people in this area and over breakfast we take the time to seek His guidance on how we can best support them.
At 9 we head in our separate directions, some to the CHIPS office on Angell Town estate and others (like me) further afield to our jobs elsewhere in London.
After work on a Tuesday evening we hold a community meal in the flat. It is definitely my favourite time of the week! We get the opportunity to open up our home and invite our neighbours to eat a simple dinner with us. We have guests of all ages, backgrounds and cultures and spend our time chatting about life and playing games. It’s a joy to see how relationships have blossomed over the last year of doing this.
After a full day at work I try and pop my head into the boxing session at Dwaynamics. This is a boxing club encouraging young people in fitness and employment opportunities, run by the amazing Minister Lorraine. Every now and again (less than I should!) I try and join their women’s classes on a Wednesday evening, and at other times I help out as a volunteer.
Thursday and Friday
These are normal work days for me without any structured things in the evenings. Sometimes I’m off meeting up with friends, going to an event, or just relaxing at home. Every now and again there’s a community meeting which one of us will go to, discussing housing, community projects or something else. As a team we sometimes meet up for a drink at the local pub or go for a prayer walk around the estate - it’s great to hear about Josh’s youthwork sessions or catch up on the different conversations Paul’s had with residents as they stop by the office. We’re a team in every respect; we get to share in the most joyous times as well as those when we’re struggling.
There’s a small market space that opens on the estate on a Saturday. Sometimes I’m roped into helping to set up, but at other times I just pop along to encourage the stall holders and to search for some rather yummy food! Otherwise, it’s my day when I’m free to do whatever.
As part of joining the team and investing in the local community, we all commit to becoming part of a local church, so Sunday mornings are spent with our congregations. CHIPS is an ecumenical organisation so we all go to different churches in the area, which helps us spread the word about what we’re doing and draw in more people in our community to get involved.
Interested in joining us? We’re looking for new volunteer team members to live in our flat. We would love to hear from you!