My name is Bryony and I work in operations support in a youth employment charity. I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University last May and whilst studying I worked for the Big Issue in the North, selling the magazine to those who worked by selling it on the street.
When I moved to Edinburgh, I wanted to continue doing something that would help those in need of support whilst homeless so I looked into Bethany Christian Trust. As I work full time and am away a lot of weekends, the Care Van was the best option for me, so every few weeks I spend an evening handing out soup and hot drinks to those sleeping rough.
Volunteering with the Bethany Christian Trust has helped me to feel that, in some small way, I am offering support to those who really need it. Going out with the Care Van means I get to meet new people, other volunteers and service users, who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
I really enjoy chatting to people and finding common ground. I also get to see the city in a different way: the night time Edinburgh that vastly differs from the one I see whilst out with my friends.
Furthermore, it is uplifting to see all the information displayed in the van and hear volunteers and service users discussing the other services that are available around the city to those who need them.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the bad things we hear on the news, so it’s good to see what positive things are happening as a result of people donating their time and money.
Admittedly, sometimes leaving my nice warm house is the last thing I want to do on a dark evening, when it’s cold and raining, but I always go as I have committed to do so. I may get in several hours later, chilly and wet, but I am always really pleased – my day and week ahead are always much better for it.
I would strongly recommend volunteering with Bethany Christian Trust; you get introduced to a circle of people you would never usually meet and you get to serve your community at the same time – what could be better!