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Ursuline Links is a volunteer programme which is run by the Ursuline Sisters. Its main aim is to give students and adults opportunities to be of service in the UK and abroad.
Year 12 student (and Ursuline Links volunteer) Samira shares her recent volunteering experiences during the half term below....
On the Tuesday 28th of May and Friday 31st of May, I teamed up with Ursuline links and volunteered at Deptford Reach and Redbridge Food Bank.
During Ursuline Links I was lucky enough to meet girls from my year who were from other Ursuline schools such as St Angela’s Forest Gate and Ursuline Ilford.
Deptford Reach is a day centre for adults who are vulnerable due to homelessness, loneliness, sever poverty and mental health. Deptford Reach provides these adults with low cost meals which consists of breakfast and lunch. They have many facilities such as a clothing store, laundry facilities, showers and access to health care, including a dentist and a nurse. They also support adults who need housing advice.
I volunteered at Deptford Reach from 9:30-13:30. As soon as we got there, we got a tour of the centre, then we went straight to work.
From 9:45-10:30 we served the client’s breakfast which consisted of eggs, sausages, beans and toast, for a very small price. The clients were very welcoming and positive and we got on with them extremely well. In the afternoon, we worked at the front desk, helping the clients sign in, and served them free tea and coffee. There was a significant amount of washing to do which ended the day, however we all agreed that the day was extremely rewarding!
Redbridge Foodbank provides emergency food to people in crisis.
Food is donated, sorted and stored. Professionals such as social workers and health visitors then identify those in need and issue them with a food bank voucher. Finally the family/person comes to the foodbank and redeems their voucher, receiving a 3 day emergency supply of food and drink.
We had our work cut out for us on this day, as the foodbank received a huge donation from one family, then we had another donation from the local Sainsbury’s.
First, the items were weighed on a scale, and the weight was noted down. Then, we had to sort that food out by expiry date and put in the crates provided. Some of the items like milk, crisps, jam and cereal went in the storage room, so it can be given away at a later date when they are running low on supplies. We had such a big donation from one family that we ran out of crates and had to sort them onto tables until we could get more crates!
We managed to sort out all the donations within four hours which was quite impressive. We worked cohesively so that we could work more efficiently.