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Homeless Oxfordshire

Meet our volunteers

Volunteer Blog with Hannah, Volunteer Development Manager

Earlier this week you heard from me but now it’s time you heard from some of our volunteers themselves! Who are these mysterious folk? What do they do and why do they keep coming back? Today I thought I would hand over to some of our stars to tell their stories and why they choose to be part of our fantastic team…

Carlene

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

“I have been a Beauty Therapist since 2005 and trained in Hong Kong with the prestigious Frederique Academy. After gaining my CIBTAC and ITEC in 2006, I decided to move back to the UK, settling in Oxfordshire with my family.”

What inspired you to volunteer with us at Homeless Oxfordshire?

“Hearing and seeing my clients look so happy, I wanted people who couldn’t afford to come to me also to feel fabulous and happy, and to make people who are in very vulnerable situations  feel relaxed and chilled. Feet take quite a bashing and need TLC.”

What did your volunteering involve?

“Pedicures”

What have you gained from volunteering with us?

“Soooo much! I feel very humbled sitting with my clients and hearing their stories; they open up to me, knowing I can make them feel lovely and humanise them. I hear them!”

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

“Absolutely”

Jenny

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

“I’m a freelancer who’s been living and working in Oxford for the last 10 years.”

What inspired you to volunteer with us at Homeless Oxfordshire?

“I’ve always supported charities fighting homelessness by donating money or clothing but I wanted to do more. I looked up local charities online and contacted Homeless Oxfordshire. Two weeks later, I was a volunteer!”

What does your volunteering involve?

“I’ve been a kitchen volunteer for 2 1/2 years now! Every week I prepare and serve meals at O’Hanlon House.”

What have you gained from volunteering with us?

“I’ve learnt many new skills and I’ve learnt more about the issues surrounding homelessness but mostly, I’ve met wonderful people. Every conversation I’ve had while volunteering has taught me so much about myself and the world around me.”

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

“Absolutely! Every contribution and every minute we can give counts and can help us overcome this very serious problem.”

Penny

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

“I’m a mum of 2 & am currently taking a break from employment to be a full time mum as my youngest child is only 17months. My partner is a support worker at  O’Hanlon House and has been there around 6months but has worked in the homeless sector for almost 5yrs, starting himself as a volunteer.”

What inspired you to volunteer with us at Homeless Oxfordshire?

“My partner mentioned you were looking for volunteers to help with the increase in donations over the Christmas period. So as I’m now a full time mum I thought it would be good to get out doing something for a few hours (I miss work) plus it’s giving a little something back to a cause that is close to our hearts.”

What did your volunteering involve?

“Sorting out a backlog of donations at Christmas time.”

What have you gained from volunteering with us?

“It’s nice to know that you have given a little of your spare time to help the lives of people that are struggling. I can think of nothing worse than to have your world turned upside down & lose everything…. how do you start again? With a little help & support!!”

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

“Yes…. I’m always sharing the volunteer posts on my Facebook page to try to encourage my friends to offer their time.”

Angus

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

“My name is Angus, I’m 24. I love being outdoors in nature. I’m an actor, currently filming in Brighton. I love Oxford, my girlfriend and cricket!”

What inspired you to volunteer with us at Homeless Oxfordshire?

“Every day, I couldn’t help but see the distressing abundance of rough sleepers in Oxford. For such a wealthy City, no one should be on the streets. I wanted to raise money for the organisation I saw to be doing the most to help the homeless persons in Oxford.”

What did your volunteering involve?

“My best friend Tom and I trekked from Oxford to London, with our Homeless Oxfordshire t-shirts on along the Thames Path. We walked 120miles in three and a half days, camping alongside the river each night, so we had extra weight to carry. I’ve since volunteered in the kitchen preparing lunch for clients of the charity.”

What have you gained from volunteering with us?

“A great sense of achievement for managing to achieve something I didn’t think I was capable of. A great sense of gratefulness for having managed to reach our fundraising target of £2000. And an increased involvement in the charity itself.”

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

“Yes yes yes!”

Inspired?

If you would like to be part of our team, get in touch today at volunteering@homelessoxfordshire.uk

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Hannah

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