Smiles, showers and flowers! Kim’s story is next in our series focusing on the volunteers who play such an integral role in the life of the Good Shepherd.
Hi Kim, First of all, what do you do at the Good Shepherd?
I come in on a Wednesday and am usually in the dining room serving the meals or giving out the takeaways.
Why did you decide to volunteer and how long have you been volunteering?
I have been volunteering at the Good Shepherd for about five years now, but that includes the time of the Covid pandemic in the middle. So in reality it’s not quite that long. Before, when I was volunteering at Darlington Street, I used to oversee the process for the showers. When I retired I always knew I wanted to volunteer. I’m not good with children because I never had any, I’m not good with old people because I’m nearly one myself, and I just thought I wanted to help people who were homeless if I could. I came into the Good Shepherd one Thursday and Brother Stephen spotted me and asked if I was busy. Straightaway I was in the kitchen, helping, and that is how it all started!
What do you find the most fulfilling about volunteering here?
I just love it. Knowing that in a small way we are helping is really fulfilling. Even if it’s just a smile or a hello to someone who looks a bit down, or getting to know people’s names which is so important. I think some of the people we help feel so dehumanised and being able to talk to them and listen helps them feel more human again.
Why do you feel the work of the Good Shepherd is important in Wolverhampton?
I think you used to see so many homeless people around Wolverhampton especially in the City Centre, but now I don’t think you see as many. That is thanks to the work of charities like the Good Shepherd. There are also people working at the charity who have been through traumas of their own and journeys like that show just how worthwhile that the charity is.
What is the most special memory you have experienced whilst being a volunteer here?
When I used to oversee the showers, there was one of the service users – who still comes now – who brought us flowers one Easter. We didn’t ask where they were from, but it was a lovely and thoughtful gesture which I will always remember.
Describe the Good Shepherd in three words?
A happy place.