Joanna joined the RealLiving project a few years ago. Originally from Poland, she hadn’t long been living in the UK.

Her confidence and language skills were poor when she first joined; however, she was determined to continue volunteering as she believed she had a lot to give.

Over time Joanna’s confidence grew; she become one of the most popular volunteers at the RealLiving friendship cafe. She was reliable, always happy to help others and ready to get involved in various aspects of volunteering.

Getting to know fellow volunteers and members of the service really helped Joanna improve on her English - she even started to pick up some Scottish slang.

Joanna’s experience working with the RealLiving service, along with some encouragement from volunteers and service users, pushed her to consider a career working with the elderly. Her personality fit perfectly into that environment; she had a big heart, a great sense of humour and always made elderly service users smile.

After years of working as a cleaner she finally had enough confidence to make a big change; she applied for a Project Worker post at a day care centre and after a successful interview, got the job. She’s very happy in her new role and has promised to pop into the Friendship Cade for a visit from time to time.

Joanna will truly be missed and will always be a welcomed visitor.