Anastasia’s Story

2 November 2017

I was born in Russia and saw first hand how a lack of support and funding affects local communities, especially the most vulnerable part of the population.

I have lived in the UK for many years now but only moved to Harlow in 2017.  I knew I wanted to contribute to the community by volunteering in a small local charity and, as a young professional, also wanted to offer my specific set of skills and knowledge but was not sure where to start.

I contacted Voluntary Action Epping Forest, which runs the Harlow Volunteering Centre, and shortly after was put in touch with *CanalAbility.

I was straight away drawn to this organisation – staff and volunteers work together as a family and there is truly an inspirational bond.

“This is my first volunteering role and, with my experience and knowledge, I want to help ensure that CanalAbility stays safe and grows from strength to strength.”

Outside the charity I work as a Health and Safety Officer for a higher education organisation and am a member of a professional organisation that gives me access to a lot of resources and knowledge.  As well as being a Health and Safety professional, I have experience in Human Resources and hold a degree in economics.

In my spare time I go running or to my local gym; love “experimental” cooking and making new dishes (as well as good old favourites); am a big Stephen King fan (and of the horror genre in general). I’m also know for giving my pets human names, following Arnold Schwarzenegger on social media and reciting quotes from “Friends” and “Dumb and Dumber”!

*CanalAbility is a charity dedicated to providing the facilities for disabled people to enjoy canal boat holidays and day trips on the rivers Stort and Lee.

CanalAbility are currently seeking Trustees.  For more information Click Here


  • Thurrock are looking for volunteers to support their carers. If you would like more information click the link.