Patricia has been living at our Palmer House service since April 2014 and began volunteering for our Interview Panels not long after. As Patricia explains, every interview for a prospective member of staff has a customer representative to ensure we employ staff ‘who see it as part of their role to empower people to do things for themselves rather than doing things for them. We look for people who are empathetic and interested in involving customers as much as possible.’
Experiencing redundancy and the loss of her home caused Patricia to feel low and vulnerable. But volunteering has raised her self-esteem and confidence again: ‘I’ve met a lot of different people and challenged myself with things I haven’t done before. Volunteering has reminded me of the skills I have; which can also be developed and help me move forward.’
For Patricia, volunteering is also a step towards applying for positions advertised by the Customer Employment Partnership (CEP). CEP is a group of 16 organisations, including Evolve, which share a common aim of employing more people with ‘lived experience’ of homelessness in the sector.
Alongside her volunteering work, Patricia is due to qualify as a spiritual coach and is also a peer mentor. She believes that ‘it’s all come together quite nicely, everything I’m doing relates to what I’m interested in: people.
Read more about Patricia’s story and other stories in our 2015 Annual Report.