'I work in a children's home, do shift work and live in a hostel, but volunteering brings me joy'

I’ve been fortunate enough to speak to some great people through this blog. Motivational, inspiring people who have taken it upon themselves to do something amazing to help those in need during this pandemic. There is nobody who fits that criteria more than Simone Welch.

She’s been volunteering at Ealing Soup Kitchen in London for two years, helping to feed up to 150 homeless and vulnerable people on a weekly basis. With government guidelines requiring people to remain two metres apart, Simone and her fellow volunteers were worried they’d have to stop their service; thankfully they've managed to find a different way of helping those in need.

“Since Covid-19 and the lockdown, we’re now doing a takeaway service with all the social distancing in place," she said. "We’ve also started delivering to the local community, to families in isolation or people that just need our help and we’re now extending that service to Thursday’s as well so we can reach more people.

“We have a cook who does the food, and she brings it into us and we distribute it. We also make up around 100 bags of donations that we’ve had of food, so this week we had a lot of Easter eggs so a lot of them went out as well.

"We just want to show a friendly face to the local community, let them know that we still care about them and we’re still there for them.”

It’s a lovely gesture, particularly from someone who's spinning a lot of plates of her own. She insists, however, that volunteering is vital for her positive outlook on life.

“I work full-time in a children’s home, doing shift work, so that’s quite a demanding job," she added. "I’m also currently living in temporary accommodation in a hostel, through no fault of my own, with my daughter.

“So having something different outside of all that, I just find really helpful. I started volunteering two years ago and I’ve never looked back.

“The sense of the community we feel is really good, we have our regular clients and I just feel like I’m giving a lot back and although I give in my day job, this is a different type of giving to a larger community.

"Volunteering is just an absolute joy. It’s helped me as well as me helping other people. Honestly, it keeps me sane doing the Soup Kitchen.”

If you would like to volunteer or help with any kind of donation to the Ealing Soup Kitchen, they can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, just by searching the charity’s name. They can also be found at http://www.ealingsoupkitchen.org/

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