Former hostel resident pays tribute to Charity

Willie got in touch with the Cardinal Hume Centre out of the blue in June, 20 years after receiving help from staff in the Centre’s Hostel. His email was extremely touching, and he has kindly allowed us to share his words with you.

“I have got in contact to say a huge thank you for the accommodation in the hostel, and all the help I received from staff at the Cardinal Hume Centre in 1996. I was only 20 at the time and I was homeless.

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I was extremely vulnerable, having run away from my home in Scotland following years of drug abuse and problems with my family. Before I came to the Centre I was close to suicide. I had been sleeping on the streets for three weeks before I got a bed in a Centrepoint hostel, and they helped me to get a room at the Cardinal Hume Centre.

Having a room there meant I had a safe place to stay and I got help and support from the staff during my time there. Although I got asked to leave after a few months, after I was caught drinking on the premises a few times, I am so grateful for the support I received there when I needed it most. I have such happy memories from my time at the Centre, and even though I was going through a rough time I made friends.

I want to thank the staff then for all of their help, advice and assistance. I will always be so grateful for having somewhere safe to stay when I was at my most vulnerable, and at the lowest point in life.

When I left the Centre I moved into another hostel nearby and got help from them and a Scottish charity, Borderline, who helped me to get back in contact with my family. We were able to resolve our problems and I was able to return home to Scotland.

I’m now a father of 3 and have a great life; so different to back in 1996. Even though it’s a time in my life which I’d rather forget; the happy memories I have from then are due, in part, to the Cardinal Hume Centre. So after all these years I wanted to say a big thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the help I received when I needed it the most.

I’m so glad I found your website tonight and so happy to find out that you’re still giving help and advice, and a safe place to stay, to vulnerable homeless people. Thank you for giving me a roof over my head when I needed it most. I don’t know what I would have done without the help and support I received from the Hostel. The kindness shown to me back in 1996 has always stayed with me. So once again, thank you so much for everything you did back then, which has helped me to enjoy the life I have today.

Willie Thorburn”



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