Home for Good

The Passage caught up with Freda, a Home for Good volunteer, who also volunteers at St James’s.

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Church Window Mask

The Passage’s Home for Good is a Community Integration project that accepts referrals from all over London. Community volunteers are trained to work with people who have been housed and need support as they settle into their new home.

Volunteers meet weekly with the person they are supporting, and together can explore the local area and build community links, to promote health, wellbeing and integration with their
fellow neighbours. Freda is part of the Home for Good project in partnership with St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

Can you tell us more about your role?
The focus of my role is to improve the wellbeing of the person that I am supporting. I have always had a calling in me to work with people; I am a retired vicar and have worked with a very diverse group of people all my life. The relationship is not a friendship as such, but it is a supportive one. Having someone you can trust is so important.

Why is the scheme important?
It can be very daunting and isolating coming to a new place that you don’t know, especially when you have experienced neglect or trauma in the past. It can take people a long time to feel
safe, so it is my role to give my time and help them to find places that they feel are safe and welcoming.

What can Christmas day be like?
It can be very isolating as there is often nowhere to go locally, and people can struggle to get to other organised events due to the lack of public transport. So, Christmas day can feel like
any other day really. Except, they know it’s Christmas – which can heighten their feelings of loneliness. Knowing that you are going to meet someone who knows your situation, that you can
chat through any issues with, can make the world of difference to the individuals that we support.

What motivates you in your role?
I think a big part of my role is to see if I can find what people are naturally good at and discover how to nurture that. In doing that together, we find a way to give power and motivation back
to the people we are working with, which is lovely. The activities I have found to work to encourage this are things like a walk in nature – it is free and can be great therapy to be out in the open air.