The importance of belonging
Homelessness can happen to anyone. But as this community shows us every day, you don’t need a personal experience of homelessness to want to help end it.
Hutt St Centre brings together people who are seeking a fresh start with people who want to help make a difference.
Meet Natalie. She has been volunteering with Hutt St Centre since 2015 in our Dining Room, helping prepare and serve breakfast to everyone who walks through our doors.
Natalie first started with Hutt St Centre through ‘Angel for a Day’ before joining as a regular volunteer:
“While I don’t have a personal connection to homelessness, the values of Hutt St Centre really align well to my own values. It’s all about doing good for others.”
For people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, hunger is a daily problem. Rough sleeping or financial stress can mean people don’t know when they will have their next nutritious meal. This is incredibly hard day after day, and can lead to serious health and wellbeing issues.
That’s where our Dining Room volunteers, like Natalie, play an important role supporting the preparation and service of up to 40,000 freshly cooked meals a year:
“What I do at Hutt St Centre is helping to prepare and serve meals, but it’s really just about having a chat with people – because sometimes we might be the only people they chat to that day, and you can see people appreciate that friendliness.”
“I think the most important thing for a volunteer in the Dining Room is to give people a sense of belonging, and not treat anyone differently because of their circumstances. At the end of the day, we’re all humans and we’re no different to each other.”
Amidst a busy working and family life, Natalie makes the time for volunteering to be a regular part of her calendar:
“What I’ve enjoyed is meeting the other kitchen volunteers, who I normally wouldn’t meet or get to know outside of volunteering. I really enjoy getting to meet people who are different from me, but we all come together for the same purpose and work together.”
Thank you to Natalie and all our dedicated volunteers for regularly supporting people in their toughest moments with a warm welcome. Thank you for helping people to feel comfortable to be themselves, and for your important role at Hutt St Centre.
And thank you to our wonderful community of supporters. Your ongoing generosity ensures that people doing it tough can have a nutritious breakfast and lunch when they need it.