Jhon Marulanda has been the Project Manager of LADPP since January 2008. With a background in education and community work in his native Colombia, Jhon first came to the organisation as a volunteer in 2002. He then became an advice worker in 2003 and Senior Advice Worker in 2005 before taking over as manager.
What does your role at LADPP involve?
Well, my main role is to make sure that the project is in place and also to administrate and manage the projects and service delivery of the organisation, as well as networking with other communities and representing the organisation within the voluntary community around London.
Why do you think that small charities are important?
I think small charities are very important because we are tackling the needs of our users. The majority of small charities are charities who are delivering one-to-one grass root work and that is something that you cannot find in government organisations or big charities. I think that because we have direct contact with the users and the community the work is more sustainable and I see how people are improving their quality of life and meeting their needs at a community level and I think that is the important thing about small charities in the sector.
What has been your best moment at LADPP?
I have so many best moments at the organisation but I do remember one when I was taking part in a steering group that was producing a guide to refugee and asylum seekers’ access to welfare and disability benefits. As part of the steering group and to publicise the book they asked me to give a speech at the House of Commons as a representative for the Latin American community. Being able to raise the voice of the Latin American community, not just for disabled people but the entire community, was a very proud moment. I feel very touched by the work that we’ve been doing but of course none of this would be possible without the support of the volunteers, other staff and the community, which has always been very pro-active in the project. Working with all these partnerships and all these people involved has made the work more enjoyable and more successful and I’m very proud of that.
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