An account from our Volunteer Co-ordinator Barbara Matheson about recent partnerships with two local businesses.
It has been a delight to meet and work with two corporate organisations who have, this winter, volunteered with Street Connect – Storage Vault and John Lewis.
Storage Vault is, as the name suggests, a self-storage facility which has several units throughout Glasgow. As it was approaching the winter period, I thought I would recruit volunteers to allow us to distribute gifts to the homeless and people in need in the city centre of Glasgow. Having been at previous networking events with “Volunteer Glasgow” I remembered they could advertise opportunities for companies to volunteer their time. I put a volunteer opportunity called “Winter Workforce Needed” and it was through Volunteer Glasgow that Storage Vault got in touch with me.
After arranged to meet their Marketing Executive, we made a plan of action to cover the winter months. True to their word, Storage Vault have been very faithful and we have made four trips around the streets of Glasgow. As a company, they have been so generous and have supplied gifts to hand out, and also helped wrap and distribute gifts to the people on the streets.
Our connection with John Lewis first began months ago when one of our Fundraising Volunteers contacted John Lewis looking for donations. This led to the John Lewis Community Liaison Team Leader contacting us to enquire if there were other ways John Lewis could help Street Connect.
After a meeting to discuss different opportunities with Street Connect, John Lewis’s knitting group agreed to donate beautifully hand-knitted hats, scarves and gloves to hand out to homeless people in Glasgow. They also put on a Christmas meal for vulnerable women who attend Street Connect for support, which was a lovely event for all!
The John Lewis and Storage Vault staff have met up with Street Connect staff and volunteers and have worked together to provide for those on the streets. The overall feedback was that the teams enjoyed the experience, and it’s been very rewarding seeing them work together with our own volunteers.
Some days have been very cold and very wet, but the enthusiasm from the Street Connect, Storage Vault and John Lewis volunteers has been fantastic. As a Volunteer Co-ordinator, it has been very fulfilling to see what started as an idea, an email, has developed into and a positive demonstration of care for the people to whom so many just walk past.
The Storage Vault and John Lewis team have said they feel better equipped to know how to approach and start a conversation with someone on the streets. The experience has changed them. If you would like to get involved with Street Connect with your workplace or as an individual, please email [email protected] for more info.