Volunteering, Its a game of give and take

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I recently caught up with two of our volunteers, many of you know or have been impacted by the kind heart and tireless effort of Patricia Kellam.  

Her journey with Streets Revolution began over 3 years ago with a simple desire to work on an idea for an arts and crafts project (RECRE8). 

Now a fully fledged Director of our company and a self confessed Revolutionary, she has become the face of SR. 

But beneath the surface is a woman who admits that Volunteering had helped her immensely. 

Nervous and unsure about her ability to influence others and not really done any volunteering. 

“If I wasn’t doing this I would be sat indoors popping pills and doing nothing with my life. ”

“It’s amazing to look back on how much I’ve achieved and what I now feel is possible, I get so much from volunteering here and the personal rewards are huge.” She stated. 

“Time goes fast, I never thought I had this in me, ….it’s only me!!!”

Having now done many things including public speaking in front of over 100 people for at a fundraiser which for most is really scary.  

People forget sometimes that volunteering can be a very selfish thing, in the sense of the rewards you receive and that positive self esteem you have by helping others, the benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing, far out weigh the benefits of the recipient. Hardly a selfless act. 

Cat Hall is one of the many volunteers that Patricia has recruited with her passionate attitude along the way. 

Now with us for over two years, she also highlighted the impact it has had on her life. 

“I had a quick chat with Patricia, due to a personal shared passion for Arts and Crafts”

“I was bored really, I never thought i had this in me”

“It’s interesting to do such a variety of things including football which neither of us (Patricia) really do. It’s so fulfilling to see how people grow with a simple interaction from us”. Cat said with a knowing smile. 

“I look forward to volunteering here, and they look forward to seeing us”

Patricia stated “I used to say I can’t , I now say I can, then decide how we can do it”

Taking on more and more responsibility is part of the ethos of Streets Revolution and Cat really embodies this, looking now to do more training partly to be able to help more, but also for her own personal development. Both her and her partner regularly volunteer and help wherever needed at our SR Oxford Survivors group and with RECRE8. 

I personally have seen first hand the growth of these individuals, flourishing under a new found belief and self worth that comes from being part of something, a sense of belonging and purpose, which in the absence of other social groups would be absent in their lives. 

It’s so encouraging to hear how they feel, about their experience but more about the future and  how they they have become a rock to so many. In their words a pseudo ‘mother ‘to many. 

They’re hope is that people come and get involved even 1 hour of time can make a difference. Whether it’s at our Survivors group, with football or doing background admin. Doing Arts and crafts on the hospital wards or feeding the vulnerable in our community there is a role for everyone. 

It takes all sorts of characters to make up a good team of volunteers and anything me can make a difference somewhere even with just 1 hour a week. Clearly though this is not just a one way street the benefits flow both ways.