Homeless person

St Paul’s Hostel: A Lifeline for the Homeless

At Postcode Anywhere we like to do a little more than simply give donations to charitable organisations, as we feel helping them in a practical way is far more meaningful.

The last few weeks we have been helping to serve food at the local homeless shelter St. Paul’s Hostel.

Working in pairs, the evening meal shift is a really busy one. You are constantly on your feet from the time you walk into the kitchen to the time you have sanitized the dining tables and scrubbed and put away the last bain-marie pan. It has been a great team-building activity for us.

St. Paul’s is a really friendly place and we have received a warm welcome from residents and staff alike. The menus are very varied and the chef there cooks some really lovely meals. Rob Willis (my line manager) and I did the first shift on Monday 11th July. We were a bit nervous, thinking our lack of experience in a large kitchen would be more of a hindrance than a help. However, our fears were allayed as duty staff there said we were a really efficient team.

A really friendly place

Jason Ford and Alex Bryan did the Tuesday shift. When they came back to work on Wednesday they were full of enthusiasm about how much they enjoyed their experience. Jason said: “The hostel is a really friendly place. I think our support means a lot to staff there – our help in serving the food and clearing away gives them a bit of respite and the chance for them to have their own evening meal, something incredibly important which we often take for granted.”

Not getting on with step-parents, divorce and being made redundant and not able to cope with paying rent are problems that are very common in today’s society and can happen to anyone. St Paul’s offers a lifeline to homeless people.

The work that people do at St. Paul’s is far more than simply providing accommodation and meals to the homeless. The shelter’s long-term objectives are to help residents get back on their feet, preparing them for their independence when they are eventually re-housed.

Reliant on its network of volunteers

We are hoping to do more at St. Paul’s again in a hands-on way and we are planning to help with certain decorating and landscaping projects.

The hostel, reliant on its network of volunteers, is always on the look-out for people to lend a hand. Members of staff at Postcode Anywhere who are currently volunteering at St. Paul’s would urge other companies and individuals to support it by giving up a little bit of their time to help.

Postcode Anywhere’s Alex Bryan said: “Jason and I felt quite exhilarated after our shift in the kitchen. Everyone is so nice there. It’s very satisfying to think we’re helping in a small way to improve the quality of life for homeless people and also to give staff a bit of a well earned break.”

There are lots of volunteering opportunities at the hostel for example you can become a resettlement volunteer, join the fund raising group or help with life skill activities such as art or numeracy. Interested? Contact Amber Kirwin at volco@stpaulshostel.co.uk