Anne has been volunteering for HARP at our Bradbury Day Centre for six years. On Monday mornings, Anne normally joins our team of volunteers that serves our breakfast for rough sleepers, preparing and cooking food, serving tea and coffee, and cleaning up.
The social distancing measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic meant that Anne was advised to stay at home early on for health reasons. We were then required to pause our rough sleeper breakfast and switched to providing breakfasts for those who were formerly rough sleeping and had been placed in B&Bs by the council.
Anne has been missing her weekly volunteering sessions during lockdown so we had a chat to her about why it means so much to her:
“The thing I miss most is seeing our guests, getting to talk to them and find out what’s happening in their lives.”
Anne says she enjoys making a difference to people and getting the sense of satisfaction that comes with seeing people go from arriving at HARP, to getting a room, and later moving into their own accommodation and seeing them out and about in the community. But it’s not just the guests who benefit.
“It’s as good for me as it is for them. From a personal point of view, I enjoy the satisfaction of being needed and of doing something useful now I’m retired,” said Anne.
“There can be challenges as visitors aren’t always in the best of moods if they come in cold and wet after a night out in the rain. But then it’s amazing to see what a difference some hot food, a shower and some clean clothes can make. I’m really looking forward to volunteering again!”
Anne also gives her time to our street collections, and the HARP24 and Spring Walk fundraising events.
We are very grateful to Anne and all our volunteers for their time and dedication over the years and we look forward to welcoming you back into the fold as soon as we are safely able to do so.
During lockdown, HARP is working with other partner agencies to provide meals and support to over 100 rough sleepers who are temporarily housed in B&Bs, as well as supporting the residents in our 214 rooms, and providing remote advice and guidance to those who are homeless or at risk of losing their home via telephone and a new online chat service.
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