She is one of several volunteer interpreters that go with our service users to translate the doctor’s appointments, job centre visits or home social service appointments that are vital to their health and wellbeing here in London. What she had to say about her experiences was fascinating.
Felicidad Diaz Ojedo – LADPP volunteer interpreter
Me: Hi Felicidad. Thank you for your time. Firstly could you tell me what your role as an interpreter entails?
Felicidad: The service user comes to LADPP and then I go with them to their appointment. It can be in a job centre, hospital or in the house with the social services. It’s always face to face.
Me: What do you find most interesting about volunteering?
Felicidad: The reaction of the people; to help. It’s very gratifying when you see someone happy when you have sorted out a problem because they can’t communicate properly themselves. Some of the people speak a little but can’t follow a conversation. The doctors for example can speak very fast so they get totally confused. That is the best thing to be a volunteer.
Me: Why is the LADPP interpreting service important?
Felicidad: It’s important because people should be able to know what is happening to them all the time. For example, I went to the job centre with a family. They had just arrived from Bolivia with a 2-month year old baby. They applied for universal credit but they didn’t do the application properly so they didn’t receive any money. The day I went with them to the job centre, I sorted out the problem so that family started to get universal credit straight away. 1 week after all was sorted. That family is going to have money to survive in the UK.
Me: Seeing the cases you’ve seen; how difficult do you think it is for service users to enter the UK system?
Felicidad: It’s very difficult because of their lack of knowledge of public services and don’t know what they are entitled to. They sometimes don’t even know how to communicate their situation to authorities even if they do know what they are entitled to.
Me: What do you think of LADDP?
Felicidad: It’s a very good charity. It’s on the very top organisations in London. I love to work here. I like that I get to meet new people and they have given me a chance to help. This is very important to me.
From all of us at LADPP thank you so much to Felicidad and all our wonderful volunteer interpreters that provide this wonderful service. You help so many people and we wouldn’t be the same without you!