Nik has been volunteering with the Rough Sleepers Intervention Team in Swansea since April 2016, here’s his story:
“I do the early breakfast run in Swansea with Karl Bresnan on Wednesday morning. We drive around all the known areas for rough sleepers and offer a warm drink, hot food and advice. Between 8am and 9am we return to Zac’s Place, a fantastic converted gospel hall, which opens its doors as a drop in centre.
I started volunteering as I wanted to offer some time to rough sleepers and those with substance misuse issues. I met Karl at Zac’s Place and he introduced me to the wonderful things that The Wallich facilitate.
Two stand out moments during my volunteering have made me smile for different reasons. 7am on a recent, cold, dark morning, Karl and I stumbled on a young man wrapped in a duvet walking near Castle Square.
We offered him breakfast and a hot drink and he said he was on his way to buy one. We spoke briefly and said it was a free drink and in a broad Swansea accent he replied, “I prefers a Cappuccino see!”
A lovely moment indeed
A client limped to Zac’s Place and his bike had been stolen. He was wet through and his feet were in agony with trench foot and we gave him soap to wash, clean socks and new trainers. He walked around for several minutes with his eyes shut saying it felt like he was walking on pillows. A lovely moment indeed.
You may be the only person to engage with a client that day. They may remain otherwise anonymous, invisible almost. Lots of them have terribly sad life experiences and just need a break or simple opportunity to turn things around. Invariable clients have mental health issues which cannot go unaided and will not pass without support and guidance.
Homelessness can happen to anyone and life is not always kind to people. Spending time with the client puts life in to perspective.
I would recommend volunteering for The Wallich to anyone”
Find out more about volunteering and how you can help us to prevent homelessness.