My name’s Tina and I’ve been volunteering with The Welcome Centre since May 2014. I found out about the Welcome Project when my son moved upstairs into Centrepoint’s assisted accommodation.
My son got into a little bit of trouble, became homeless and started living in the forest. He wasn’t in a good place when he started receiving help, but support has got him back onto his feet. He has learnt to take responsibility for himself, he has learnt how to cook, clean and take care of himself. I have seen first-hand just what support can do for someone.
That’s why The Welcome Centre is so important to me because it provides a lifeline. It is a warm place to be and somewhere to feel wanted. If this place wasn’t open, there would be a lot more people on the street without hope.
Once clients are registered, they have access to showers, medical care and a warm meal. More importantly, you are signed up with a support worker and invited to take part in lessons and activities – English, Maths, IT, Life skills and Cinema Club. There are ears to listen to you, hands to support you and something to believe in – we are all working together.
Volunteering also helps me. When you are on your own, like I am, volunteering gives you a reason to get out of bed. It gives me something to do and I get to have a joke and a laugh with staff, clients and fellow volunteers.
I also enjoy helping others, because someone like me has helped my son.