Minister of the Month – Alexandra Honnan-MacDonald
Meet our Minister of the Month for May, Alexandra Honnan-MacDonald!
Alexandra loves graphic novels and has volunteered on lots of different projects including trialing a comic book workshop and gardening in the summer!
Name: Alexandra Honnan-MacDonald
Volunteer role: Writing Mentor
Live: Tower Hamlets
Favourite story & why
Preacher by Garth Ennis. It is a graphic novel and really paved the way for my love of the genre. It is an amazingly dark, twisted story but really made me contemplate the nature of life. It also has incredible artwork.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I work for a HIV charity, have been volunteering with the Ministry of Stories since March 2014, ‘builders tea’ is probably my favourite beverage and I would be lost without books and music.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?
I grew up around Shoreditch and wanted to do something positive for my local community, and because I love literature and creative writing, the Ministry of Stories was the perfect place to volunteer.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
I have never really worked with young people before, so I was nervous that I would be rubbish at being a mentor. I was worried that I would say the wrong thing or not know how best to help someone who was finding a task difficult.
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
I mainly volunteer with the Randal Cremer group and getting to know them, their talents and imaginations, has been great.
I have also enjoyed helping to trial a comic book workshop and then mentoring in the first session, working alongside the Royal Drawing School and their members on a creative writing and drawing project and gardening in the summer, all very cool sessions.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
How fond I have become of some of children that I work with; I love hearing their ideas and reading their work.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words
Fun, rewarding, innovative.
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
Commit yourself! The more you give, the more you get.
Try and volunteer with the same session/group so that you can get to really know the children and young people you work with.
Not only will you be able to get to know incredible young people, you will be a better mentor and the experience will be more rewarding for you and for the young person.
Also, the projects that happen through the school holidays are a lot of fun, so it will be worth getting yourself signed up for at least one of them.