On behalf of our Board, our staff, and our guests, we extend a heart-felt thank you for your unwavering support and generosity. We recognise the amazing work and commitment of each and every one of you who support the Shelter in various ways. There are not enough words to describe how grateful we are for the dedication, compassion and kindness of our incredibly amazing volunteers who give of themselves tirelessly. What we continue to accomplish simply would not be possible without you. You, our enthusiastic and kind-hearted volunteers, not only talk the talk but also walk the walk and give of yourselves in a most precious way, your time.
What did our guests say …
A warm welcome overnight
for homeless people in the coldest months
“It was a rewarding experience as I was able to help people during a very difficult time in their lives”
Our Volunteer Stories...
This was my fourth year of volunteering at MCWS, but my first at Union Street Methodist - it was a fantastic experience. Every year the team of volunteers grows, showing how much the people of Maidstone care that there are people sleeping rough on our streets. The friendliness and the team spirit amongst the volunteers always grows week by week, and I hope that the guests felt welcomed and included in that. We just wanted to give them the best food we could manage to show we care, and chat to them to make them feel normal, not isolated, like pariahs on the street that people go out of their way to avoid. We're all human and any one of us could find ourselves in this position given a twist of fate. I would come after a hard day at work not feeling like I wanted to be there, but in twelve weeks I never left feeling other than honoured to be part of a team making a small but important difference to a few in our home town.
I enjoyed giving up a little bit of my spare time knowing I was helping other people. I was particularly glad to serve breakfast to the guests when we helped to pack away the shelter one Sunday morning. They all seemed really pleased to be in the shelter and always said ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank you’.
This was our first time volunteering at the shelter. We found it to be very well organised. Jan and the team and all the other volunteers were so friendly it made a very enjoyable experience for us. We were glad to be able to make our small contribution and hope to return next season.
Tim & Jo, Volunteers
Out of the 6 years the night shelter has been running I have had the privilege to volunteer on 5 of them, four years at the Quakers church and this year at the Methodist Church, Union Street. It's always such an enjoyable experience, meeting new people, both Staff and Clients. Most people are probably only two steps away from being homeless, loss of work, can't pay the rent. I can only imagine what that is like and that probably doesn't come near the reality! So if we can cook some delicious food for our guests and have ordinary chatter round a table, it must be better than out on the streets. After that there is a warm bed, which gives some security for a few weeks at the coldest time of the year. All the guests are always thankful for the hospitality they receive, and if we need a reward that is it.
It felt good to be able to help with the shelter again this year and I feel that just setting up the beds and putting sleeping bags/pillows on them is my little contribution to helping. The setting up is a good opportunity for younger ones to make an impact if they want to. It’s a great thing to do!
This was my 3rd year volunteering at the Salvation Army winter shelter, working alongside Mark, project workers and volunteers. Once again it was a rewarding experience, knowing my few hours a week helped those so less fortunate than myself. It was also lovely to see some of our guests from previous years now in accommodation, but who continued to come to the shelter for a hot meal.
Chris, Deputy Venue lead.
“If it wasn't for you I would be on the streets. Many thanks for your help"
“If it wasn't for this over the past 3 months I really don't know if I'd have made it through the bad weather...."
“This is what Christianity is all about … love thy neighbour”
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at the Shelter, just a shame it had to end
It was the most worthwhile and fulfilling thing I had ever done
Volunteering has been one of the most rewarding experiences
It has been very positive having additional guests in for dinner who were not staying!
“Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at the Shelter, just a shame it had to end”
I enjoyed this year as much as last year and look forward to being involved next year
After 4 years, I think the Shelter runs really smoothly and again it has been a pleasure to play a small part in it
“I am glad that we were able to provide warmth, shelter & love through the winter nights”