50 Years, 50 Faces: Veronika Alblova
“My name is Veronika and I am the Community Hub Manager at the Renewal Programme. I am also preparing for my OISC exam as I want to become an Immigration Advisor. I have always been passionate about helping people, especially migrants and refugees. This maybe because I am migrant myself; I can appreciate how difficult and lonely the process of integration in a new country can be.
I have been living in the UK for over eight years now. I spent the first couple of years travelling the world and working within the hospitality industry. During the pandemic I completed a Masters course in NGO and Development Management and started to actively support the Newham community, at first as a Care4Calais volunteer and later as a Renewal Programme staff member. I am really enjoying working with our diverse community as there is so much to learn from our clients.
Outside of my working hours I love to spend time in nature, read books, dance and cycle. Music and dance is my passion.
I believe that all interventions concerning people’s wellbeing need to be built on respecting the values of dignity, inclusion, collaboration and empowerment. The Renewal Programme’s doors are open to all members of our community and we are trying our best to provide them with the tools that they need to improve their situation.
As a Community Hub Manager I am linked to multiple projects such as the Community Cafe, Women’s Coffee Morning and Digital Support. But I am always around the building and enjoy to interact with our clients, so I feel like I am connected one way or another to the majority of our projects.
I have had the opportunity to work briefly with Sylwia – the Renewal Programme’s Immigration Advisor – and I have gained great respect for her and her work during this time. She is not only an incredibly hard-working and highly qualified Advisor but she she is also an amazing human. She always puts her clients at the centre, even if she needs to walk an extra mile. Sometimes I wonder if she has some superpowers that help her to deal with all the workload she has.
As a staff member I can say that the Renewal Programme means so much more than just a workplace to me; I see our centre as a community space which is easily accessible – anyone can just walk though the doors and make new friends, get practical support, engage in our activities and learn new skills.
Sometime I observe newly developed friendships, or service users helping each other, and that makes me really happy. I believe everyone has some talent or a skill to share, they just need the space and a encouragement to do so.”