Comments from Volunteers
"We first started volunteering a few years ago because we met an acquaintance of ours wandering the streets of St Albans having lost his flat through non payment of rent. We knew he had psychiatric problems, but no one seemed to be helping him. We thought "someone should do something", and realised perhaps it should be us! We looked on the internet for homeless in St Albans, came across Centre 33, and volunteered. We are always aware it could have been us."
"I originally volunteered for 2 years running at Crisis Open Christmas in London. I did this because I didn't like Christmas and wanted to do something to take my mind off it. What an eye opener that was! I met loads of lovely people (volunteers and guests) who I would never normally come into contact with. This experience made me look at what volunteering opportunities were available locally and I found Centre 33. Volunteering with homeless people has made me extremely grateful for what I have, especially after hearing some of their stories. The visitors to the Centre are normal people who have fallen on hard times for various reasons. I do not judge them, but am happy to have the opportunity to help them in what small way I can. They are always very grateful for our efforts and we always get thanked.
One evening a young man came in and said that Centre 33 had saved his life a few years earlier, and now he found himself in need of our help again. He was very articulate and well-spoken and I wondered why he was in such a position, but I guess we never know what has happened at home. He was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the only sign that he had a problem was the scarring on his arms from self-harming. I often wonder what happened to him."
"I became involved in Centre 33 when I stopped commuting into London. I wanted to get involved with a charity that "makes a difference" to people's lives. The Centre provides help and support for many people who just are often simply not noticed by the vast majority of us. It is rewarding and I have enjoyed meeting local people - volunteers and visitors - who I would not have otherwise met."