NEWS - Alchemy VA Franchisee Magda Volunteers with Breadwinners
Posted on 18th April 2022 at 23:01
As a purpose driven and family run virtual assistant company, we’re focused on people over profits.
Family isn’t exclusively defined by blood. To us, family extends out way beyond our incredible virtual assistant franchise team and our ambitious and inspirational clients too. Family quite simply means the commitment people make to look out for each other.
We believe it’s our individual and collective responsibility to look out for each other, protect the environment and do what we can to support our local communities.
Our Magda, who heads up Alchemy VA in East London, has recently completed a volunteering mentoring programme with Breadwinners. She took some time to reflect on the experience here on our blog.
You can discover some of the incredible charities, projects and initiatives that we’re immensely proud to have supported recently here.
Written by: Magda Bilska-Pereda
"I’ve spent the last two months volunteering as a mentor with a fantastic charity called Breadwinners.
Their mission is to improve wellbeing of refugees and young people seeking asylum in the UK by providing training and work experience at their bread market stalls.
As part of the programme, I was paired up with a young man who I was supporting at the market so that he can develop relevant skills to find employment. Above all, my role has been to help him feel more at home in a big city like London.
Every Sunday when it was my ‘market day’, I’d wake up feeling happy to get out the house, sell bread and share this experience with Kazim - there is something magical about fresh bread, how tasty it smells and how good it makes you feel early in the morning.
Working together at the market was great fun. Kazim’s kindness and upbeat personality have brightened up my day. I had never met a 19-year-old so knowledgeable about the world yet very humble about it all until I met Kazim.
Kazim fled his country at age of 14 and embarked on a 3-year long and often dangerous solo journey with a goal to find a safe place to build his future. I’ve worked hard to help him see this experience as something extraordinary, a superpower of his, something he shouldn’t feel ashamed of, as is sadly often the case with young asylum seekers who face many barriers when building their life in the UK or looking for work.
Last Sunday was our last day together at the market followed by a graduation party. Whilst reflecting on the time spent together, I couldn’t feel any prouder seeing him picking up his certificate at the ceremony. He told me, he was very grateful for the opportunity to see a different face of London, a friendly one, where he is no longer alone and has the Breadwinners community and I cheering him on all the way along!"
About Magda Bilska-Pereda
Magda lives in Hackney, East London with her twin boys Elias and Mateo, husband Alex and Lola the cat. When she's not creating more time and headspace for her clients she can be found running, cycling, exploring outdoors or organising social gatherings with friends and family. Magda also loves to practice yoga, read and listen to music. Magda is also a keen traveller and used to go backpacking a lot before having children.
Magda holds a BA and MA degree in Politics and International Relations. She has a Public Service Interpreting Diploma and, in addition to English, she is professionally proficient in both Spanish and Polish.
Breadwinners is a grassroots charity providing employment and training for refugees and young people seeking asylum. They employ refugees to sell the highest quality artisan bread at farmers’ markets in London and Brighton, and to manage their online bread delivery service.
Breadwinners provide jobs, work experience, training and mentoring for refugees and young people seeking asylum as part of their employability programmes.
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