League of Jewish Women
Retired social worker Ella Marks was also a social work lecturer. She is currently president of the League of Jewish Women and chairman of Ealing U3A. She also volunteers at Jewish Care’s KC Shasha Centre and Ealing Talking Newspapers. Her past roles include being a representative on the Board of Deputies, a school governor and volunteer for the Samaritans, Citizens Advice Bureau and Ealing Hospice
Why these charities?
Volunteering was something I was introduced to as a child. I remember accompanying my mother on her visits to see elderly people, in either residential or their own homes, and never without her strudel. My mother did not drive so went everywhere on foot until I learnt to drive. I joined the League because it represented a cross-section of Jewry and works for the wider community too.
What does your volunteering involve?
I started more dedicated volunteering when my daughters were teenagers and I wanted to utilise my social work experience which is why I chose the Samaritans and the Citizens Advice Bureau. I also spent time doing the usual League welfare work which included working at a school for children with special needs and helping out at the hospice. I have for the past 10 years volunteered at Jewish Care’s KC Shasha where I put books on to tape. At the U3A I chair a weekly lecture, and I also run an art appreciation group. I have volunteered at the Ealing Talking Newspaper for 20 years, helping to put the Ealing Gazette on to tape.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
Being president of the League has given me a marvellous opportunity to interact with people from all types of other organisations. There are numerous ways you can volunteer and sitting on a committee as a League representative is a way of meeting interesting people and attempting to influence issues that affect our lives.
What is your most memorable volunteering moment?
Working with the special needs children. Seeing small advances that were enormous steps for children that do not have a lot going for them.