How long have you been volunteering at The Brick?
Just a few months. I’d been volunteering for a homeless charity in Manchester before that but wanted to be part of a scheme getting rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation, like the Social Impact Bond and A Bed Every Night.
What is your volunteer role?
I do a Sunday morning shift, supporting a member of staff at the Leigh Hub. There’s some general housekeeping stuff to do and helping the guests, maybe filling out forms, getting appointments and just being sociable.
What do you feel is the best bit of your volunteer role?
We are making history in Greater Manchester with the work to end the need for rough sleeping, so I’m glad I’ve been able to offer some time to be part of that. I’m proud to be a Manc, we look after each other.
Describe a memorable event or anecdote in your time as a volunteer at The Brick that makes you feel good about being part of this organisation.
Every shift is different, there are sometimes crises, but more often great warmth and laughter. I’m hugely impressed with The Brick staff, making difficult decisions but ultimately winning respect and changing people’s lives.
What are your aspirations for the future within The Brick and in the wider world?
The Brick is a slick operation! I’m looking forward to being a part of its continuing great work. For my day job, I’m a musician; still plenty I want to achieve!
A word of encouragement for anyone considering joining The Brick as a volunteer.
Volunteering is about being part of the community and what greater need is there than to help your fellow Mancunians who have fallen below the line. You’ll meet people with amazing stories to tell. They will have faced unimaginable problems and being part of their recovery is tremendously rewarding. Go for it.
The Brick Shop is a charity shop selling donated goods, often to people on low incomes. The shop gives clothes free of charge to people referred by Wigan Council. The shop is one of the main hubs within its community.
The Brick Giving aims to put an end to poverty and homelessness in Wigan and Leigh. Our #BrickbyBrick campaign is working to raise £175,000 to purchase The Brick Works and make sure no one in our community is left behind.