Celebrating our volunteers

Over 50 years ago, a group of volunteers wanted to do something to help the people they saw sleeping on the streets. They founded St Mungo’s. Today, volunteers continue to play a vital part in our work to end homelessness and rebuild lives.  

This Volunteers’ Week, we’re hosting celebrations to say a massive thank you to all 350 volunteers who have supported us this year. We’ll be announcing the winners of this year’s Volunteer Awards, with prizes generously donated by the Marsh Trust. 

Iver Morgan, our Head of Volunteering, Apprenticeships, Involvement, and Student Placements, said: 

“Whether they are answering the phones at Streetlink, translating for our clients,?delivering activities in our services, or using their lived experience to support others. Their contribution is immense.? 

They give their time, skills and experience as we work to support people at a difficult point in their lives. We genuinely couldn’t run St Mungo’s without them.” 

To mark Volunteers’ Week, we talked to some of our volunteers about their experiences. Pat runs a gardening club with the residents in one of our services: 

I noticed the rise of people on the streets in London, and I felt I had do something. I’m not qualified to do support work, but anyone can help, even in a small way.?

A professional gardener would turn up and the whole thing would be finished in a day. What they would do in three hours has taken me six weeks, because we work at the pace of the residents. I don’t get frustrated by that. It’s good for the residents, it’s good for me, and it’s good for St Mungo’s. Everybody benefits.?? 

Some of the residents have medical issues that impact their mobility, but there are still ways they can get involved. Even if they just sit and watch, they’re outside in the fresh air. And that’s a contribution. I ask the residents for instructions and involve them in the decision making process. ? 

As a volunteer, you need empathy. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to want to help these residents.?? 

There’s one resident who comes out to the garden every week, so I gave him his own gardening gloves. I said to him ‘here, these are for you. You take these and keep them in your room’. His face lit up.? 

I’d like to thank St Mungo’s for giving me the opportunity to do this, and the staff who’ve made it possible.?? 

If you’re trying to build a career, especially in any kind of caring profession, a stint at St Mungo’s can only do you well. There’s a wide range of things you can do. The role I do is very specific, and it fits well with me. There are lots of other roles I couldn’t do – but there’s something for everyone.” 

See how you can use your skills to make a difference by exploring our current volunteering opportunities. 

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