A letter from a French Student who volunteered for ICOS earlier this year

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I volunteered with ICOS for 2 months, working between 30 and 35 hours per week. It was the first time I worked with a charity. I did a lot of different things. Since we were in an office, most of the time I was sitting at a computer. I created/completed a lot of documents related to their needs and I did a lot of administrative tasks too but I was doing always the same thing, which was quite good. I created several leaflets for the different events they were hosting or organising. To me, ICOS is a really good charity, always here to help people in need in the area of Sunderland, with all types of help. They really offer a lot of services, especially help with English language. About my personal experience, it was not bad but it could have been better. I was there as a French student in foreign languages and I was surprised by the fact that they are speaking Polish most of the time in the office. It was not a problem for me, it’s just that I did not expect that before I came and I was willing to improve my English, so it was not the best for me. Other than that, I liked being in ICOS. When I was there, they were free English classes in which I took part. I have to say that was a really good experience even if I only participated in 6 or 7 sessions. That was basic English skills, but I still learnt several things and I enjoyed being the teacher too. That was a bit complicated since I did not speak fluent English but still a good experience with people willing to learn English and ready to talk to you. I also had the opportunity to be part of events. This means organising, taking part in meetings, discussing, making suggestions. That was a good experience and I would recommend to volunteer with ICOS to every person who wants to meet new friendly people and help other people.

Valentin Gouet

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