Volunteer Stories: International student supporting people in Leeds during COVID-19

This blog is part of a series that celebrates the stories of volunteers during #VolunteersWeek2020. The amazing people across Leeds that volunteered as Community Care Volunteers in response COVID-19 have made supporting vulnerable people across Leeds possible. Read their stories and find out more about the people who have been uplifting their communities.

Ejiro Ikoko is an international student who has previous volunteer experience which she gained in Nigeria, helping students. She discusses how she was compelled to volunteer with Oblong in Hyde Park during the COVID-19 outbreak.


How has your normal daily life changed during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I am an overseas student at the University of Leeds but my studies have moved online, giving me more flexible time to help. Oblong have been really supportive and made me comfortable doing what I do.


Why did you decide to become a Community Care Volunteer?

I wanted to help! I have previously volunteered helping people and students in Nigeria and recognise the need to help those in need. My mother is a nurse in Nigeria, so as a family I have always been motivated to help people.

Ejiro Ikoko delivering food to people who are self isolating

What volunteer role are you doing? And what does this entail?

I pick up a shopping list, purchase items in a supermarket and deliver shopping items on Mondays and Thursdays to people isolating in the local area.


How has volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis made you feel?

Happy to make people happy. I always enjoy them smiling and thanking me, they are all so grateful. 


What’s your message for anyone thinking about volunteering?

I was happy to help despite the possible health risks that my friends mentioned. I listened to my own voice and others should do the same to help people.    


Ejiro Ikoko (far right) helping at Oblong


The Community Care Volunteering programme is not currently accepting applications from new volunteers but there are still lots of other volunteering opportunities available in Leeds. To find out more, please visit https://doinggoodleeds.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer/

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