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Providing valuable volunteering experience and making the most of generous donations

Our new donations project is now open to make the most of generous gifts of items from the public and as a way of providing our clients with volunteering opportunities.

The new project, which is based at 33 Bishopgate, next door to the charity’s head office, is open on weekdays between 10am and 2pm as a drop-off point for donations to the charity as well as a location for the people who use their services to collect items they need.

Life Skills Development Co-ordinator Nicky King said, “As a charity we are always amazed at the amount of items donated by our generous community, including clothing, bedding, toiletries and household items. Due to the volume of donations we receive and in response to this growing need, we are launching this new initiative, the Donation Station, in order to ensure we are making the best use of all donations.”

The project will be staffed by volunteers with lived experience from within St Martins’ services. The volunteers will receive the items from the public, sort the donations and use the premises to distribute them to others who are in immediate need of specific items.

St Martins encourages the people who use their services to be as independent as possible and teach budgeting skills and cooking as part of the training available to them.  Many of the people who use the charity’s services are not comfortable to rely on hand-outs so they choose to make a small contribution for the items available.

Nicky said, “Not only will the Donation Station enable us to make best use of items, it enables six volunteers to gain invaluable training and confidence building and allows St Martins to raise much needed funds to continue the work that we do.”

One of the volunteers, Tim said, ”People donate clothes and other things and I donate my time to give something back. It also helps me to structure my own time doing something worthwhile to help other people. We sort through all the clothes and find what’s useable and decent quality, we sort out what can be handed out to people on the streets, it’s amazing what comes in from people.”

Joe is another volunteer who says he got involved in the project in order to give something back. He said, “We get a lot of support from St Martins and can feel we are repaying what the staff do for us. That’s what I feel the donations project is all about.”

A list of items the charity is currently in need of can be found here: stmartinshousing.org.uk/help-us/items-we-need

Please contact Ray Muscat for more information on 01603 855155

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