Danielle first became homeless at 8 years old when her mother had to flee a violent relationship, soon after they were put in a protective housing shelter. Following a troubled childhood, she ran away from home at 15 and became homeless again. She came to Archer Project in 2009 and began her journey from homelessness. Danielle has been volunteering for us for a number of years and she now helps within the activities groups and the comms team.
Read on for her guest blog:
My name is Danielle. I've been using the project since 2009 when I started as a client. The project helped me get a place to live, and when I was in a more stable position I chose to help out at the project and started volunteering. I started in the lounge area then I moved on to helping with Activities.
We used to run between ten to twelve activities a week, our main activities were Maths, English, ESOL, Job Search club and Photography. We had other activities that we would change about every 6 months and these activities were colouring class, film club, walking group, cooking, creative writing and scriptwriting class and lots of different groups as well. We would run a few activities in house with our own volunteers like myself but we would also have placement in outside organisations to run other courses and activities.
Now that the restrictions are being lifted we are able to restart the activities like photography and our social group's, but we are taking this slowly.
We are pleased to be starting our activities groups again as we have had only limited space to use since the fire that made our big room unusable.
Our activities are a chance for homeless and vulnerable people to try different things. It's a chance for them to do normal things, have a laugh with friends and also help to set a routine for people who need it.
There is also the other side to the activities, like staying warm in the winter and being able to talk to people that know what it's like to be homeless and to know they have improved their lives.
I hope we can get all of our activities up and running again because this will give our clients some much-needed stability rooted into a normal way of life again. I also hope we can expand our activities and do more days out like going to swimming pools and other activities like this as people really seem to enjoy it.
By giving a regular gift of £25 a month, you could buy someone an activity such as gardening, art or IT, as well as lunch. If you'd like to, you can set up a monthly donation here.