I recently joined the A Way Out team booming with enthusiasm and raring to get involved. I work in the admin office answering the phone, helping to recruit volunteers and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
In addition to my Admin role I volunteer with A Way Out’s Outreach Team in Middlesbrough. After completing the required volunteer training, I commenced my first outreach session, and with a little trepidation grabbed supplies and hopped into the van.
Whilst driving around the evening streets of Middlesbrough offering support to vulnerable women, it felt like a whole other world in comparison to walking these streets in the daytime as a University student.
We stopped the A Way Out Van offering initial engagement via hot drinks and food, whilst establishing requirements for additional support, and signposting the women to attend our new daytime drop-in located on Parliament Road.
Pulling into a street the temperature was freezing, and we encountered a shivering woman waiting alone. We offered her a donated hat, scarf and a hot drink as we chatted about how she could access support.
The staff member I was working alongside was amazing. Her kindness and passion for her job shone through and enabled her to approach the women in a manner that immediately put them at ease and encouraged them to open-up in an honest and trusting way. One thing that stood out to me most was a poignant question from a vulnerable woman… ‘Why are you being so nice to me?’
This experience is one I will never forget, and I look forward to continuing to offer this voluntary support along with sharing the impact of the work of A Way Out and encouraging others to support the organisation.
For more information about A Way Out contact 01642 655071 or www.awayout.co.uk.
Written By Hannah Dodsworth - Admin Assistant.