My name is Lucinda Nettleton and I am the author of the book Eastern Roots Western Branches. I have volunteered previously whilst at University where I was a mentor for Manchester’s prestigious “Portico Prize for Young Writers.” I volunteered to take part in the project because it looked like an interesting project – I was not disappointed!
What interested me about the project was the diversity of the project – it both attracted me and daunted me. As the writer of “Eastern Roots Western Branches” the children’s storybook at the forefront of the Gift of Togetherness Project, I got involved in the project knowing that I knew very little about South Asian Gift Giving and culture but I knew I wanted to know more.
From this particular project I have learnt an abundance from the research I had to conduct before writing the stories and by attending the Mega Mela. I could now confidently speak about Eid and aspects of Muslim culture and heritage in Pakistan, Gujarat and Bengal and for that, something that will stay with me forever, I am eternally grateful.
My experiences on the project will definitely make me want to volunteer again. I will now approach projects that I know nothing about in the hopes of learning something new – like I have with this project. The unknown is sometimes scary, but why live in fear of it – embrace it and you never know, you may like it and, in my case, learn something new.