I’m heavily involved in Light Project Peterborough and the Winter Night Shelter; we offer beds, dinner and breakfast to up to 8 homeless people 7 nights of the week for the 3 coldest months of the year. We give the homeless guests tasks to complete to meet us halfway for more permanent accommodation and this means they can move on and we can help other homeless people get back on their feet too.
Further to the Winter Night Shelter a day provision has been set up due to some really hard work from some of the team, and we have gained funding for a Mentoring and Befriending Scheme – both of which I am involved in.
The Day Provision was spoken about for months and then all of sudden it was created over night; the leader of the project contacted me for a person’s details so we could supply lunch for the guests on the day provision and I took it as my duty to arrange food through my contacts for the guests each day – a further blog will be created on this topic!
Anyhow, Saturday morning I was in bed with plans to meet my mentee in the morning for our session, we were going to walk round Ferry Meadows and then collect their food donations for the project and deliver then serve their offerings to the homeless guests – however when I called to arrange the pick-up time I found out they were closed due to the heavy snow.
I felt personally responsible for this as I had taken it as my duty to supply food – so off I went to Sainsbury’s to buy some food I could offer as a warn lunch.
I then picked up my mentee and we went for breakfast at Frankie and Bennys; we spent over 90 minutes chatting and making goals and plans for her future and it was a really positive session. She then asked if she could come and help me make lunch as a way of ‘giving back’.
So we went to St Marks Church and made 2 different types of pasta bakes, sausages, garlic break and pasta with sauce, laid out the tables and served 18 people with a nice warm lunch before washing up, packing up and I then whizzed home to make cakes.
I was at the central venue that night; welcoming guests with warm drinks. I had promised ‘Hazel Special’ hot chocolates and freshly baked cakes and couldn’t let the guests down – that evening I was giving out all the drinks and cakes and having a really lovely time.
That Saturday should have been an exhausting day but it wasn’t – I was made to feel so appreciated that I felt glowing and full of energy. I had a super warm feeling inside, I had helped loads of people and I still felt full of energy.
Like I said at the start; it’s good to give!
And in the grand scheme of things; what is one day when you can help over 25 people???