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Hannah’s Volunteering Day: The Booth Centre

Here one of the DOMU team, Hannah, recaps her experience volunteering at The Booth Centre, a day centre that offers advice, activities and support to homeless people in Manchester.

As I entered The Booth Centre I suddenly began to feel nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect – but my nerves were quickly put at ease as the people were so friendly and polite.

For starters, I opted to work in the kitchen to help serve breakfast. I was the tea and coffee server – a role I thought I could deal with in the morning rush.  At 9am the centre opened and a flurry of people came through the doors; the staff weren’t phased - they were well prepared with a steady supply of porridge and beans on toast. At this point I wished I’d not already had my breakfast.

Once breakfast was finished, and we had cleared up, I joined in with the art class. When I last did art in school I didn’t think my ability to draw was bad at all, how wrong was I? In comparison to the other people who took part in the session my drawings were by far the worst.

For most people in the class, art was their passion, and the pictures and drawings they created were something to be proud of. The atmosphere was calm, and I had some really interesting conversations with the people around me, I even learnt about the art of graffiti and ‘tagging’.

At 12pm lunch began. The kitchen staff had all the food prepped and ready to be served. On the menu was pork chops, tomato pasta, green beans and peas with fruit salad to finish.

Lunchtime worked like clockwork, one by one myself and my colleagues, Mark and Dean, took plates filled with food and handed them out to those at the centre, until we too got to tuck in to the tasty lunch.

The day as a whole was definitely an eye opener and a great experience. All the people I spoke to were really friendly and had a story to tell. It is clear how much individuals who go to The Booth Centre appreciate the building, as well as all the work and support the staff provide. I will definitely be returning to help out in the future.

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