This month's volunteer in focus is Mfa Zaman, who told us his incredible story about the importance volunteering has played in his life.
Tell us how you first got involved in volunteering…
Volunteering is my passion and it has helped me in so many ways. Ten years ago, I was homeless and unsure about my next steps, and volunteering gave me an opportunity to make a positive impact on my life.
Years on, I am blown away by the opportunities that have arisen from volunteering: recently I appeared on the BBC’s ‘One Show’ for taking part in The Great Big Walk – a 616-mile walk from Yorkshire to London.
Initially though, I became involved in volunteering through the London Olympics in 2012 and then also volunteered at the Rugby World Cup in 2015, and I hope that through this volunteering I have been able to inspire others.
To keep the legacy of volunteer service, I founded ‘Safe & Save’ to help feed the homeless in London, motivate people to make a change and provide training to become a volunteer. I’ve ran the London Marathon, Brighton Marathon and many half marathons to help children with disabilities become involved in sport.
It’s been 20 years since the Men's Cricket World Cup was held in England and Wales. What do you think it means for the game in this country and how important do you think it is for the younger generation?
20 years ago, as a school boy I watched the Men’s Cricket World Cup in England and after 20 years it’s crazy to think I am volunteering at this tournament.
Cricket plays a huge part in the British sports culture and heritage, and people always want to be part of it. I think it will be great to see the impact that the ICC Cricket World Cup has on the new generation coming through and I also believe that during the tournament the World Cup Cricketeers will play a huge role in encouraging children to play the game, become enthused and learn more about the sport.
I also think it will open the door for dedicated young volunteers to find a passion and gain invaluable experience. Being an international event with visitors from all over the world, I think it’s a great platform to develop as a volunteer.
You were a selector and facilitator during the World Cup Cricketeers interviews, tell us how you found that experience.
It was an amazing experience and a big honour for me to help as a selector and facilitator. Having volunteered with lots of people over the years, it’s amazing to meet so many interesting people and find out their stories and what drives them to volunteer at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
The World Cup Cricketeers are going to make this tournament so special and hopefully it will create some amazing memories for not only them, but the visiting spectators and the wider audiences around the world.
What bit of advice would you give to anyone doing this for the first time?
I believe in life there is a learning process. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and be there for so many incredible moments, but most of all I have learnt so much. It has allowed me to overcome various challenges and I think it can do the same for lots of other people, so get stuck in, say yes to the opportunities and be proud of what you do.
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