Get to know Annie a little better by reading about her passion for volunteering and giving back to her local community through helping support homeless people in our local city, Birmingham.
Q. Where do you volunteer and what is your role?
A. I volunteer for Let’s Feed Brum – a charity to help homeless people based in Birmingham city centre.
I’m a team leader on Thursday nights, so I lead a group of volunteers around the city centre distributing food / drinks / toiletries and a chat (if they want to) to people on the streets and I’m also the first point of contact for new and potential volunteers.
Q. Why do you volunteer for this charity in particular?
A. I actually started attending as part of a charity initiative for the History society, which I was a committee member for when I was in my final year at University of Birmingham.
It really struck me early on how important their mission was to not only provide food, but friendship to people on the streets. I think we’re all (unfortunately) used to just walking past most homeless people because of stereotypes / the sheer quantity of them; it can be an uncomfortable topic to broach, but through speaking to them and hearing their stories it becomes clear that these people are only in their position due to lacking a support system of family and friends that so many of us take for granted.
Q. What does it involve?
A. We have a base full of food / drink / toiletry donations from various companies so the volunteers meet there. We fill up some bags with snacks, cold drinks, and toiletries and we fill up flasks with tea and coffee, and we also have hot food donations from a local business.
Then we take these out on various routes around the city centre, finding and distributing them to the people who need them and hopefully having some conversations with them along the way.
Q. What is your favourite part about volunteering?
A. If I can make someone with a pretty hard life have a slightly better day, then that’s a win. It also definitely keeps me aware of what’s going on in the world, and in that respect it makes me feel a lot of gratitude that I have a good support system.
The social aspect is also good, I’ve made a lot of friends through volunteering and it’s a nice way to socialise with them while also doing something to help others!
Q. Are there any big events coming up for the charity that people can get involved with?
A. Events are few and far between, it’s mostly donation based! But we always welcome new volunteers to the breakfast club on Tuesdays/Thursdays or any of the week nights and there’s no obligation to come every week!
Feeling inspired? Get involved and volunteer at Let’s Feed Brum or donate here.