Befriending Week 2016

To celebrate Befriending Week 2016, we had a chat with one of our volunteers who works on our Home capturefor Good project.  Manuela has been volunteering for Home for Good at The Passage for 18 months. “Before I started volunteering, I was a manager for a software company in Shoreditch, but I wanted to do something different with my life while I still could, I wanted human interaction as opposed to interaction with a machine.”

Manuela visited a volunteer fair organised by Volunteer Centre Hackney at Dalston CLR Library and it was there she met Katherine from The Passage who told her about the Home for Good project.

Our Home for Good project assists and empowers clients to settle into their local community after they have moved into their own accommodation.  We do this with the support of a team of volunteers. Home for Good operates in every borough of Greater London.  Volunteers use their local knowledge to empower clients make the most of their community, helping clients get to know the area and reduce the feelings of loneliness that often lead people to abandon tenancies and tragically return to the streets. We currently have about 100 volunteers from all walks of life, a diversity of volunteers to reflect their diverse client group, and The Passage provides full support to all our volunteers, with on-going training and supervision.  We are immensely proud of the 97% tenancy sustainment rate that Home for Good has achieved in the last two years of operating.

Manuela said the “training has given me a better understanding of homelessness and how to cope with the complex issues connected with it.” When asked whether befriending combats loneliness Manuela replied “Yes absolutely. The client I see now, before she enrolled at a local college, was very isolated. She had no contact with her family or friends and was new to Hackney. From personal experience, I know London can be a very harsh and isolating city if you are struggling.”

When asked what she gets from volunteering she said she “finds volunteering challenging and rewarding. It’s a way of gaining trust, letting someone know that they are not alone and have someone they can turn to for advice. I get to help someone take a small step towards their bigger goals.”

We are looking for Home for Good Community Volunteers across London to support even more clients through befriending to combat loneliness and isolation. You can find out more about our Home for Good volunteering oppportunities here.