Our week of volunteering

Ed and Kenji give an account of their week of volunteering at the Cardinal Hume Centre:

“We spent this week at the Cardinal Hume Centre, experiencing the vast range of services that it offers to all who desire them. On arriving at the centre, we expected it to be a normal soup-kitchen type homeless shelter. However, it quickly became apparent to us that the Cardinal Hume Centre was a very unique place which provided much more than food and a bed; the centre prides itself on aiding the complete recovery of each person and ensuring that they leave the centre with a brighter future awaiting them. For example, the centre teaches its residents skills such as money management, how to apply for jobs other crucial skills for surviving in the outside world.

During the week we became involved with many of the centre’s services. On the first day, we were given a guided tour around the centre, quickly discovering its unique nature. After this, we were asked to create a Pinterest page for the centre; a task which brought much satisfaction when we finally completed it! This page gives a well rounded view of the Cardinal Hume Centre and is an easy and quick way for one to gain important knowledge about the place, whilst also providing a range of exciting pictures! On the second day, we were given the task to help out in the centre’s nursery. Here we found a bunch of amusing and energetic 3 year olds. Such was our dedication to our orders to get “stuck in,” that within 5 minutes, one of us found ourselves at the bottom of a huge pile of toddlers whilst being attacked by a toy snake! Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our morning with the children and left the family area wishing that we were still in nursery. The nursery was fantastically well equipped and a great environment for the upbringing of the children.

On the third day, we went round the corner to the centre’s charity shop where we helped to put out new books, new clothing and helped behind the till. Even though it was hard work, it was great fun, especially being behind the till because we felt fully involved with the process. The shop was brilliantly organised and beautifully set out; testament to the hard work of the staff. On the fourth day, we had the tough task of redecorating one of the hostel’s kitchens. We hope that the residents enjoy the improved kitchen and we heavily thank the Facilities Manager Paul for advising us and hold him largely responsible for the high quality of the kitchen. On the last day, we attended an English class and assisted them in improving their oral skills. We were surprised by how accomplished their English was, and admired the dedication of the students. This was an incredibly enjoyable couple of hours for the pair of us due to jolly atmosphere of the classes!

Throughout the week, we learnt that Cardinal Hume Centre is a loving and caring place which is fantastically enhanced by the brilliant staff that are responsible for the many great aspects of the centre. We give special thanks to Aileen, Trish and Sandra who looked after us fantastically and gave us an interesting array of tasks to perform. We had a fantastic week and we hope to be back here some day and leave here with memories that we will always cherish.

Ed & Kenji