It is said that, no matter your current lifestyle, you are only two pay packets from the streets. A dip in mental health can be both the cause and the effect of instability. The consistency of services like the People’s Kitchen is valued: come rain or shine, six nights a week there will be a meal available and a community of Friends and volunteers to offer support, be that a chat with a Welfare Coordinator for some advice or simply being around other people.
Volunteer Lesley tells us about Andrew, a Friend she sees regularly at the Kitchen, who was willing to share his story with us:
“Andrew has attended the kitchen for almost four years. About this time he found his circumstances had changed majorly, he lost his job and then his flat , he then had to resort to sleeping rough. Andrew finds his life ruled by his anxiety and depression.
“He was told about the People’s Kitchen and attends five days a week either at the Kitchen on Bath Lane or at the Outreach van on Trafalgar Street. He attends for meals but also the Kitchen gives him a focus for the day, meaning that he has to motivate himself to go out. He does also attend a few of the Kitchen’s social events such as film or curry evenings.
“Another great benefit that Andrew finds from coming to the Kitchen is that he can speak openly to the volunteers and listeners (Welfare Coordinators) about how he is feeling and coping without being judged. Without this, often the only people he would speak to through the week are those in authority, for example at the Job Centre.”
“I’m glad to be there to support people like Andrew when things are feeling too much. It helps me put things into perspective. Every day at the Kitchen is different and it’s great to spend time with a diverse group of people.”
Are you interested in joining as a volunteer? Check out the range of current roles available by visiting the ‘Volunteer’ page on our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.