Joining BASH Local as a volunteer when I retired gave me the opportunity to give something back to the community. Helping make a difference to the people around us that are in need of a foodbank and providing help and advice. It also provides a chance to develop new skills and build on existing experiences when on the outreach rota.
Being a volunteer is both challenging and rewarding.
I consider myself fortunate to live in a reasonably comfortable home and to have the support of a network of family and friends. However,I have been through certain life experiences which have taught me that poverty, homelessness,a shortage of every day food items, in fact, a lack of the basics which many people take for granted, are rife even in today's supposedly affluent society.Having previously worked in a Homeless and Hostels housing benefits department I am also aware that it is not due to personal failings that some people find themselves in desperate situations : relationship breakdowns, a lack of social support, debt, poor physical or mental health,unemployment, housing polices;one, or a combination of these can lead to the need for the encouragement and assistance of the Bash Local team. Even just a smile or a friendly word can make all the difference. Fortunately, Bash Local can provide more, and I am proud to be part of such a dedicated team of volunteers.
I'm not going to get on any political high horse. Various governments have tries and failed to resolve the issues of poverty and homelessness. Until results can be achieved by politicians I believe that by dedicating a proportion of my time to helping those less fortunate than myself can only be for the good. I cannot change the world. I can only hope that the combined efforts of Bash Local and the surrounding community will go some way towards alleviating the plight of the disadvantaged. Hopefully, together we can also change people's perceptions of the causes of poverty and homelessness. If I can help just one person to face a brighter future that will make me happy, and like them I too will sleep more soundly at night.
I am retired, and decided I wanted to do something more than sit with my knitting. I heard about BASH, and felt drawn to it, so I volunteered to help in the FoodBank. This led to my involvement in working in the office of the charity, including Safeguarding. I work in the Food Bank on the day it opens, taking details of service users who come to us.
It's a wonderful charity to work for and great to feel that perhaps my small efforts might help to improve life of our homeless and needy who need support, sharing love and comfort.