On behalf of our Board, our staff, and our guests, we extend a heart-felt thank you for your unwavering support and generosity. We recognise the amazing work and commitment of each and every one of you that supported the Shelter in various ways. There are not enough words to describe how grateful we are for the dedication, compassion and kindness of our 262 incredibly, amazing volunteers who have given of themselves. What we have accomplished this year, simply would not have been possible without you. You, our enthusiastic and kind-hearted volunteers, have not only talked the talk but also walked the walk and give of yourselves in a most precious way, your time.
This year, 262 volunteers gave an estimated 8,169 hours...
What did our guests say …
A warm welcome overnight
for homeless people in the coldest months
“It was a rewarding experience as I was able to help people during a very difficult time in their lives”
Our Volunteer Stories...
“I am writing to say thank you so much for allowing me to spend my voluntary placement helping at the Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter.
The experience of working at the night shelter highlighted to me how much it is needed and valued, especially for those who are most vulnerable due to mental illness or poor physical health.
The other volunteers were very welcoming and it was great to volunteer at different venues and see the way that each church operated. I was most impressed with the catering teams and the excellent variety of home cooked meals provided every night.
As a student nurse I have found volunteering at the night shelter very fulfilling. I have gained more self-awareness and an appreciation of how the voluntary sector makes a huge contribution towards the health and well-being of individuals who find themselves in need for whatever reason. By engaging with guests and listening to their stories, it has helped me overcome preconceived ideas about homelessness and other issues such as drug and alcohol abuse.
I have great admiration for all the volunteers, and how their time and dedication is making a real difference to the homeless in Maidstone. This is truly a demonstration of the biblical teaching "love thy neighbour". I will certainly recommend volunteering at the night shelter to future students. This experience offers opportunities to practise many of the skills necessary for nursing such as interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, listening and collaborative working with others. It is also a place to demonstrate the six C's of nursing: Care, Compassion, Courage, Competence, Communication and Commitment.
Thank you once again for the privilege of serving at the night shelter."
Liz - Student Nurse
"I didn't really know what to expect when I chose to volunteer at the Shelter, but I had heard a bit about it as my dad was a venue lead last year. I have always enjoyed cooking so I chose to help in the kitchen, preparing the meal and serving the guests. Each week, I got to know the guests who were always grateful for the food, with one of the guests singing "food, glorious food!" every week, and another eating 6 servings of trifle! I will miss everyone at the Shelter and the warm, friendly atmosphere, and I can't wait to volunteer again next year!"
I had not volunteered with homeless people before and I had no idea what to expect. I had a common misconception about homelessness but after volunteering at the Shelter, I realised how easily one can become homeless … the slightest change in your circumstances can have life altering outcomes.
I found volunteering at the Shelter to be quite a rewarding and humbling experience. It has truly changed my view on homelessness. I enjoyed doing crosswords with the guests at the Shelter and I was deeply touched on hearing their experiences of being homeless.
“I enjoyed this year as much as last year and look forward to being involved next year.”
“After 4 years, I think the Shelter runs really smoothly and again it has been a pleasure to play a small part in it"
“This is what Christianity is all about … love thy neighbour”
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at the Shelter, just a shame it had to end
It was the most worthwhile and fulfilling thing I had ever done
Volunteering has been one of the most rewarding experiences
It has been very positive having additional guests in for dinner who were not staying!
“Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at the Shelter, just a shame it had to end”
I enjoyed this year as much as last year and look forward to being involved next year
After 4 years, I think the Shelter runs really smoothly and again it has been a pleasure to play a small part in it
“I am glad that we were able to provide warmth, shelter & love through the winter nights”