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Monday, June 4, 2012

Helping Haven A Place For All Second Life Residents -Pandora Drezelan Reporting...

When I first came to Second Life in December 2009 I landed at Help People Island, where I made many friends including Lily Swindlehurst, it was a great experience and I spent most of my time there learning all that I could about Second Life. I spoke with Lily recently about her experiences in Second Life and the beginning of Helping Haven.

Pandora: When did you come to Second Life and what inspired you?

Lily: ‘I started out in Second Life in March 2007 after reading a UK newspaper article about virtual worlds. I thought it may be interesting to try one and see what it had to offer, I had no real expectations beforehand. What followed was an amazing experience that I have enjoyed and learnt from.’

Pandora: You started at Help People Island, how did that begin for you?

Lily: I was a Second Life mentor for a while and then joined Help People Island, working there as a supervisor for a few years.’
Pandora: Who started Helping Haven and what was involved?
Lily: ‘After Help People Island closed in August 2011, four of us started Helping Haven so that we could continue helping people in Second Life and provide a place for the helpers who had been left without a base. We were pleased that about 100 of the staff came with us to start Haven.’

Pandora: What does it take to be a helper?

Lily: ‘To be a good helper first of all you must be a good listener, have large amounts of patience, a sense of humor helps and the ability to work as a team and not be afraid to ask for help yourself from that team.’

Pandora: What is your role at Helping Haven?
Lily: I am one of the four owners of Helping Haven and the one you are most likely to meet in world as I have the most free time in real life. The others are Aullere Ocello, Notfragile Gausman and CharlesDe Beaumont. My role is to manage the Haven, update the calendar and website, sort out problems and questions, liaise with our teachers and DJs, and help people.’

Pandora: Do you have any tips for new residents in Second Life?
Lily: ‘My first tip is do not be afraid to ask, most people in Second Life will help you as much as they can or maybe refer you to a help place like Helping Haven.’
‘Do go out and explore as Second Life is vast and use search to find your interests so you can settle in quickly to places that may suit you.’
‘Don't worry about money at first as there are many free shops.’
‘Don't give out too much personal info.’
Treat others as you would in real life with respect, as there are real people behind the avatars with real feelings.’
‘And have fun:)’
Pandora: What type of facilities does Helping Haven offer to new residents?

Lily: ‘Helping Haven offers a team of helpers to assist new and old residents with any Second Life questions. We have a free shop to get that all important new look, tourist office to collect useful landmarks, play area, sandbox and dance area. We also offer many free classes where you can learn Second Life skills. Haven also hosts many parties with live DJS, many of which are themed.’

Pandora: Can you tell us more about the website and group?
Lily: ‘Helping Haven website contains a wealth of information about the group as well as a full calendar of our classes and events, the link is as follows:’

‘The Haven Helpers group is over 100 in size and details of how to join us are on the website. There is also a Helping Haven fans group which can be joined on the sim and would keep you in touch with all that goes on here.’
Helping Haven is a great place for all residents of Second Life, it is a place to learn, make friends and be a part of a community dedicated to helping people find their way in the virtual world. Thank you Lily for sharing your experiences with us, you are an inspiration and an amazing person.


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