We are so grateful to all our wonderful volunteers who offer their help, support and professional expertise to us in various ways. Below you can read about how and why different volunteers help The Winchester Beacon.
Amanda has been volunteering with us for over 25 years.
“I feel ashamed to say that around 27 years ago when hearing about the Nightshelter, as it was then known, I questioned why we needed it in Winchester. I decided to volunteer as a cook to see for myself.
Over the years, I have heard the most tragic stories of those who have suddenly lost loved ones, businesses have collapsed and other unexpected misfortunes have occurred. The Winchester Beacon offers a fantastic temporary safe home for people in need and provides help and services in a range of ways to get residents back on their feet and ready to face the world again.
The joy and happy face that I see when someone tells me with great excitement that they have found a property to move into and will be shortly leaving to look after themselves is rewarding for the very small part I still play to this day.”
Caroline, Admin Volunteer
Caroline, one of our long-standing volunteers, offers administrative support to The Winchester Beacon once a week.
I’ve been volunteering at The Winchester Beacon since 2010. I help out in the office doing whatever is necessary, from answering the telephone to taking in meal deliveries, writing thank you letters for donations, filing, and as back-up to staff when needed. I feel that I am very lucky to have my own front door key and I like to think that in a small way I am helping someone else get theirs as well.
I’m not sure what I expected, but certainly the image that a lot of people have of rows of bunk beds in a cold room could not be further from the truth. The Winchester Beacon feels really homely and is very clean with nice single bedrooms. The meals that are served are all home-made and are either made on site or brought in by other volunteers. It’s a welcoming and friendly place to stay, and also to volunteer.
I am more aware that homelessness is a real and growing problem. I also appreciate that one should try not to judge others in any way – there are so many different reasons that can lead someone to homelessness. The stereotypes of the homeless person that are often conjured up couldn’t be further from the truth – it really could happen to anyone. The thought that I am hopefully giving something back and being useful in a small way.