“I am volunteering as an interpreter"


Wesam's story

"I used to live in Dubai and was an interpreter for my dad’s company. I did this mostly for Arabic-speaking people who couldn’t speak English. When I got married, I moved to the UK with my husband, who is a pharmacist.

I was a part of a group at South Bank for Arabic ladies and the group was told about NUR Fitness in Middlesbrough and what Step Forward Tees Valley were doing with the group. Along with my friends, I joined Nur fitness and began to get involved with the support that Step Forward Tees Valley was providing to the group. Laura, one of the navigators from Stockton began working with, and supporting, me.

I wanted to continue being an interpreter and volunteered to act as an interpreter during the group sessions. The navigator said I was a great help in the classes and courses and I enjoyed communicating with the other people.

I enjoyed helping and developing my skills and I got to experience lots of new things whilst being part of the programme. I went on a walk in Osmotherly led by the navigators to promote health and wellbeing amongst the ladies – it was a great way to spend time outdoors and to spend time with other people. I was amazed – I had never seen anything like the surroundings during the walk!

During my time with Step Forward Tees Valley, I took part in a mental health awareness course and courses on social media and digital skills. I also went on a trip to Bradford, organised to help us learn about the fabric trade. Again, it was an opportunity to spend time with other people away from our usual surroundings.

Now, I volunteer as an interpreter and I have achieved certificates for this as well as for a creative crafts course and a digital skills course. I explained all  the theory to the ladies from my group, translating from English to Arabic to help them complete the creative crafts qualification.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to gain experience in volunteering and I am going to complete an interpreting skills course. I’m looking forward to the future."