Meet the AF Volunteers - Alexia

Meet the AF Volunteers - Alexia

03 Jul 17
School Blog

Here on the Anna Fiorentini blog you have heard before from a couple of our lovely teachers, who put in a lot of hard work each weekend. But we also have some other very important people walking around our schools: our fantastic volunteers. We thought it was about time you got to know them a bit better. First up is Alexia, who is a regular at our Docklands and Greenwich Fiorentini Weenies classes.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Alexia, I am 35 and I come from Greece. I grew up in Bahrain, went to high school in Greece and studied in London for both my degrees, Physical Sciences and Interior Design. I have lived in London for a total of ten years, I have been back now for five. Today I think of myself as an interior designer transitioning into becoming an art therapist. My partner and I are in the process of moving out of our beloved London to Kent, and of course we wouldn't leave Lincoln, our little English Bulldog, behind. I have a passion for art and anything creative and I have always been sporty. I also love trying different foods, travelling and reading, but my most favourite thing is devouring a large popcorn at the cinema!

Have you seen anything good at the theatre recently?
The most recent play I remember watching that really touched my heart, was People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan. It captivated me all the way through and it was so real, raw and emotional. And it was on the topic of addiction, which fascinates me.

What do you do in ‘normal’ life outside Anna Fiorentini?
At the moment, I am taking a break from the design industry. I am looking to set up my own brand of luxury pet items called Lincoln's. Aside from that, I have undertaken a creative challenge to learn a craft a month for twelve months. You can read more about my experiences on my blog, or have a look at my Instagram account. And I volunteer for the Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme as well as with Anna Fiorentini!

Do you do any performing arts yourself?
No. The truth is that ever since I was a little girl, I shied away from anything dance or drama related.
So, volunteering with a performing arts school… that’s an interesting choice!
I have always wanted to offer my time for a good cause and give back, because I feel it helps you grow as a person. I kept saying I wanted to volunteer, but never actually took that first step. Finally, one day I went on the Do It website, where you can find volunteering positions, and the Anna Fiorentini ad was literally the first one I read. I thought to myself, ‘this sounds great but... drama and dance!’ I was petrified but then I thought to myself, what better way to get over your fear than to be faced with it? And so, I applied!

What do you enjoy the most about volunteering with Anna Fiorentini?
The children. They are an endless source of energy, happiness, creativity, laughter and just fun times! Watching them grow and learn and develop their social skills through drama is so fulfilling. And the teachers that I have worked with: they have all been lovely, inspiring people who, again, I have learned so much from.

What is the best advice you would give other (aspiring) volunteers?
Just do it. Offering your time to those who need it is the best gift you can give them and yourself. All you can do is grow from such an experience!

Eva De Valk