At a debate in the House of Lords this week, Lord Touhig praised the diversity of volunteers at the Cardinal Hume Centre and the support they give to the hundreds of people who come to the Centre for support each month.
He said, “over half the volunteers in the Centre’s assessment team are from ethnic minorities. Their understanding of the cultural and social needs of different client groups greatly enhances their work providing advice or support to 100 new people every month.”
Lord Touhig was speaking as part of a debate on the contribution made by ethnic minorities to faith communities and public institutions. Lord Touhig is a long-time supporter of the Centre who has volunteered with us in our charity shop on Horseferry Road and he has also helped to teach people to read.
You can read his contribution to the debate below. As a result, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Williams of Trafford), stated her hope to visit the Centre alongside Lord Touhig in the near future.
It’s great to see the dedication and impact of the Centre’s volunteers recognised in the Houses of Parliament.
Transcript of Lord Touhig’s contribution:
The Cardinal Hume Centre, not far from this House, which I know well having worked in the charity shop and in the programme teaching people to read, provides support to homeless young people and families in poverty. It is a fantastic demonstration of the difference ethnic minority volunteers and staff can make to the lives of those in need. For example, over half the volunteers in the Centre’s assessment team are from ethnic minorities. Their understanding of the cultural and social needs of different client groups greatly enhances their work providing advice or support to 100 new people every month. The wider range of languages in which services can now be offered has proved especially valuable. A Spanish volunteer is now able to support clients from the Latin American community, and a newly recruited Arabic-speaking volunteer is currently helping the Centre’s work with increased numbers of clients from countries like Syria.
The Centre is always looking to expand its team of volunteers – look to see if there is an opportunity that would suit you!