Liz’s Story – A Monday Volunteer
I joined WHP in early May 2018. Why did I become a volunteer? What made me do something rather than thinking about it for a while? I became increasingly aware through direct experience of the homeless in my own town – Windsor. I also started doing a bit more research and became more aware of the many varied reasons that lead a person to be in that position. It was time for action. I knew of the Project and I just turned up to the Project to help in whatever way I could.
I am on the Monday rota. I start at 11 and help get the room ready for our guests. Our job is to prepare and serve a two-course cooked lunch and provide additional snacks tea coffee cold drinks etc for our guests. One or two volunteers are designated cooks and they are busy in the kitchen.
The tea urn needs to go on biscuits snacks sorted cups, glasses cutlery cold drinks need to be prepared. We may be low on milk so a quick trip to the nearest shop is needed. A lovely fresh cabbage has arrived and will go perfectly with the chicken casserole so another pair of hands in the kitchen might be needed.
Donations of fresh food on a regular basis help us to produce a nutritious meal for our guests with fresh ingredients. Most days we have a donation of left-over sandwiches which are kept refrigerated in a local restaurant, which needs to be collected. If not, then we quickly prepare sandwiches. No bread has arrived from our usual donator so bread as well as the milk is needed. A search of the fridge reveals cheese and tins of corned beef are in the cupboard. There will be sandwiches!
Chatting with our guests is also a very important part of the job and after the initial rush when guests arrive, we always make time for that. It is an immensely rewarding job. They are all so very thankful for what we give them. It isn’t just the food clothing and the professional help that is offered. It is the love and support that we give on a regular basis and that cannot be measured. It gives that person the confidence to take the next step to move their lives forward in a positive way.
I always disliked Mondays when working. Not anymore! Mondays are the best.