Volunteers Week: Thank you!
To mark Volunteers Week, we chat with three inspiring volunteers: Desiree, Zuhoor and Elin, who give up their time to help our mission of ending street homelessness in London
To mark Volunteers Week, we caught up with some of our incredible volunteers, who work across our projects in a range of roles, and provide an invaluable service to staff and those using our services. Their commitment to our vision of ending street homelessness helps us make a real difference to people’s lives on a daily basis.
Desiree volunteers at The Greenhouse in Hackney
“My name is Desiree and I’ve been volunteering at the Greenhouse since April this year.
“I always had a passion to do more for vulnerable people, but I didn’t really know where to turn to. My boyfriend works for Thames Reach, and he spoke so highly of the work they do to support for vulnerable people. I checked the Thames Reach website and liked what I saw and read, and decided I would like to be a part of that.
“I love Thames Reach’s strong ethos and commitment. I live my life with the same kind of values: never give up on people; always be positive, respectful and compassionate about others. After my first day at the Greenhouse I was absolutely sure to have found people who really believe and work with those values.
“I’m really touched by the hard work we do at Thames Reach. I have not spent a long time volunteering yet, but I can say the benefits of volunteering are twofold: it gives help and support to people in need, and is also really rewarding in return.
“I’m learning new skills, I’m meeting a lot of nice people, I’m being part of a community and I’m challenging myself to try something different, achieve new goals and discover hidden talents. Last but not least, I’m coming back home knowing I’ve done a little something to help people change their life, and this feeling has no equal.”
Zuhoor volunteers in the Employment and Skills team
“My name is Zuhoor, I volunteer in two teams at Thames Reach: the IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance within Employment and Skills) and the volunteers team. I have been volunteering since June 2020.
“I started volunteering after meeting staff at Thames Reach who said I would be a good volunteer, and offered me experience. I love the environment here, staff have helped me a lot when I needed help and now I want to give back.
“I believe it builds and rebuilds confidence, helps with professional relationships and gives people a chance to give back to those in need, which is important when you yourself have been there.
“I have learnt so much, and can see that I can give back and that there is a lot of joy in volunteering, yes I am not paid for it but I get more joy out of this! You can see the impact you’re making and that gives me great satisfaction!”
Elin volunteers at Southwark Works
“My name is Elin and I’ve been volunteering at the Employment Academy for Southwark Works for about nine months.
“I started volunteering after I received a notification from Do It, an online volunteering platform that helps you find the sort of volunteering you are interested in, letting me know that Thames Reach were looking for new volunteers.
“I wanted to volunteer with Thames Reach primarily because it’s a homeless charity, and I was feeling frustrated by the way I was seeing homeless people being de-humanised on the street in London. I hadn’t actually heard of Thames Reach before I started volunteering but quickly learned about the incredible work they have been doing for a long time.
“When you volunteer, you witness a side of life that might be very different to the one you live, which is important, and work along side some of the most inspiring, dedicated and compassionate people you will ever meet.
“Something I’ve learnt from volunteering is that the system is not working for everyone; poverty and homelessness are everywhere, the number of people that need help are huge, the class divides are just getting bigger and too many people are happy to turn a blind eye.”
From the entire Thames Reach community, we would like to thank all our incredible volunteers for their work, as well as their enthusiasm and dedication for ending street homelessness. Our work would not be possible without your input. You are all fantastic!
If you or your team are looking to take part in volunteering, and are passionate about ending street homelessness, please get in touch with volunteer programmes manager Kelly McLoughlin: email@example.com