I’ve had a little profile appear in this week’s Wayside Chapel newsletter. Wayside is a place where homeless and disadvantage people can go for a shower, buy a nutritious cheap meal, get great support and access to services, as well as enjoying the company of others. I volunteer there on the front desk.
I was in two minds about posting the profile here – as much as I love promoting the work of The Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross, I also felt like a bit ‘on myself’ putting my connection out there. Then I thought, that’s ridiculous, so here it is. Have a read and learn more about what happens at Wayside. You can also donate money or time if you visit here.
When did you start at The Wayside?
I started on the CSC (Community Service Centre) desk in June 2012.
What attracted you to this fabulous place?
I moved to Sydney a few years ago and wanted to do volunteer work connected to disadvantaged, vulnerable or homeless people, but found all the organisations I approached didn’t need volunteers at that time. My partner’s father sent me the Inner Circle newsletter and immediately I felt a connection with Graham’s words and the idea behind Wayside. I’ve always felt very strongly about helping those who may be doing it tough, with no judgement or divide, so Wayside was a perfect fit for me. I have great respect for the work of Wayside and have even roped my sister in with fundraising and my brother now volunteers in Youth.
What is the highlight of volunteering here?
Every time I’m on the CSC, I walk away with an amazing story, a new connection, or something significant to think about – sometimes from visitors, sometimes fellow volunteers. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s a privilege when a person decides to share something close to their heart.
And maybe a lowlight?
The day I learnt that I should wear my glasses when I’m on the CSC desk. A lovely, but dentally challenged visitor accidentally spat in my eyes while we were chatting in one of my first shifts. I’m not a hygiene freak but I learnt it’s probably a good idea to keep my glasses on!
What is your passion?
My passion is writing and I’m fortunate to have made a career of it. I write about food, wine and travel for magazines and newspapers, a bit of corporate content and have a blog [www.theairloom.wordpress.com] and a website about socially responsible travel [www.unravelledtravel.com]. Travel is my other great love and I try to get away as much as I can, both for work and for play. Recently I’ve enjoyed spending time in Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Scotland and road tripping in WA.
Photo: Anna Partridge.