Volunteers' Week - Nadeisha's story

June 5, 2015

Over a hundred people regularly give of their time and skills to support the work of the Cardinal Hume Centre in London. Nationally, 23 million people volunteer, and 1-7 June is time to celebrate their hard work in National Volunteer Week.

Nadeisha volunteers in the Cardinal Hume Centre's young persons' hostel, having been a resident in the hostel herself 18 years ago.

When I first stayed in a hostel it was a culture shock. I'd never been in a hostel before. The hostel I first went to had young people in it addicted to drugs and with multiple sexual partners. But when I came to the Cardinal Hume Centre it was different; it was more of a home.

Since then, with support from the Centre, Nadeisha's gone on to find somewhere to live. Life has been tough, with several personal tragedies, yet she has also gained a degree in Criminology and Youth Studies, and now volunteers one day a week back at the Cardinal Hume Centre. She is responsible for running a young people's forum for the hostel residents.

Instead of receiving, I'm now giving. The young people are so misunderstood. They have a limited knowledge of the world around them. I try to give them the tools they need to equip them in the direction they need to go.

It's crucial for someone to bridge the gap with them. I can see where they're coming from because I've been there. I can give advice and guidance to actually help them. I realise I've come a long way. I hope others will see my story and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In the last year alone, sixty-nine new volunteers have begun at the Centre, with people teaching English and computer skills, giving support to the duty office in the hostel for homeless young people, staffing the welcome desk in the advice and assessment centre, keeping the Centre's gardens in bloom, and working in its charity shop.