‘I was a stranger and you let me in’

As part of our CSR policy at Penmann all team members are granted one day’s extra holiday per year to volunteer at a project or charity of their choice. This is the story of John Kirwin, our Commercial Director’s day volunteering:

“On 13th Dec I volunteered at St George’s Crypt in Leeds due to my strong interest in homelessness, the reasons behind it and what we can all do to improve the lot of those who live on our streets. Coincidentally I used to walk past St George’s on my way to and from school back in the 70’s and I witnessed then the issues of homelessness.

My choice was therefore an easy one so I contacted Olivia Quick the Volunteer Development Officer who arranged my day.

We started with a detailed tour of the Crypt led by Martin Barry to aid our understanding of the work the team does. Morning duties consisted of working with the house keeper, changing all the bedding on the 2 male and 1 female dormitories.

At lunchtime I worked with David Pilling Head of Nurture, along with Foluke Onafowokan and Catherine Tanham from Clarion Solicitors who have a similar CSR policy to ours and we were put to work in the kitchens to supports the excellent restaurant which feeds the residents and community.

For me this was a real eye opener and chance to be part of the excellent work the charity does to combat the ongoing plight of many people in the Leeds area.

“John joined us for a day in December and worked alongside our team of fantastic volunteers including many individuals who have been homeless themselves. John helped us to feed over 100 individuals who accessed our service. The hard work of our volunteers means that we can provide a three-course meal, tea and coffee, practical and emotional support to homeless and vulnerable people in Leeds completely free of charge. Without John and our other volunteers this simply wouldn’t be possible.” Olivia told me

If you are wondering what is the significance of my headline read more about the origins and work of the charity here ”


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