Sheila is a volunteer at Streets2Homes.

Volunteers are an integral part of Streets2Homes. Being a volunteer is extremely rewarding.

Sheila has been volunteering since 2015.

She took the time to tell us about her voluntary work at Streets2Homes.

Download Sheila’s story as a pdf here.

I choose to volunteer on a Monday and Friday 10am-2pm at the Day Centre in Wych Elm, Harlow. I get involved in a number of things like sorting out clothing donations – most of the clients need clothing and anything that is not suitable to wear is recycled.

I also do hoovering, cleaning and tidying up. Sometimes I help serve lunches to the clients. The food is also prepared by volunteers and is really good value. The clients pay 50p for a hot meal and drink. Typical lunches are pasta, shepherds pie etc. The food is pretty healthy and sometimes there is a dessert. Some of the food is donated.

A volunteer is someone who contributes their time, skills and experience to an organisation and gives their time for free. No qualifications are necessary.

In return, a volunteer will gain work experience, broaden their own skills, develop new interests and become more involved with the community.

Streets2Homes’ volunteers must be 18+ years.

They are really friendly and we all get on well with the staff and clients. The volunteers are from all walks of life – some have young children, some are retired (like me). Some are professional career people, some are ex- homeless.

At Christmas we all chip in to go out together for a meal.

I have spent all my life in Harlow and now I am retired, I wanted to give something positive back to the community. The fact that I can choose when to volunteer is ideal for me as I don’t have to do it full time.

I’ve made lots of new friends here. You really feel valued.

Yes, you do get a warm feeling when you know you have made a difference to someone’s life. Our clients are vulnerable and a little help from us goes a long, long way. At Streets2Homes, we’re all doing something good for Harlow.

You can offer your skills to Streets2Homes.

Serving food and donating personal items are both helpful, but maybe you have more specific skills that we could benefit from – like admin, cooking or I.T. Maybe you are handy with DIY and could help with gardening, construction, or house painting. We would love volunteers that can help with repairs at Bromley Cottages.

Maybe you are great fundraiser or event planner and you could help put together a Streets2Homes donation campaign or awareness-raising family event.

Whatever you decide to do, you will be really helping the homeless in Harlow.