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Volunteers - you make the world go round

We celebrate our volunteers here at Hammersley Homes at every opportunity, but the importance of volunteers across the globe came into focus for Louise during her frightful experience of the earthquakes that took place in Morocco in September. When people were fearing for their lives, volunteers came together to provide help and gather supplies. Whilst bigger charities and organisations looking to give aid fought with bureaucracy, it was the people on the ground who did everything within their power to help others and reduce suffering at an incredibly frightening time for everyone involved. Read the blog that she wrote about this here.

Like every charity, Hammersley Homes was born out of frustration and anger at a lack of support from governments and institutions for those in need. It was born from voices that were hoarse from shouting, begging and screaming for help for the vulnerable. But it was also born from hope and compassion; friendship and kindness and a determination to help others – by ourselves if needs be. Hammersley Homes has a vision. We want to provide people suffering from long-term mental illness with safe and secure places to call home. And with our fantastic team of volunteers – we are well on our way to making this vision a reality.

volunteers of moroccan earthquake

A HUGE thank you!

We have had the honour of working with some wonderful people on our journey and would like to take this opportunity to give the following organisations a massive shout-out for their fantastic support in building our volunteer base and offering their advice, guidance and training throughout the process. Thank you to all of you!

Community First
Community Action Network
Southampton Voluntary Services
Volunteer First

We would also like to thank Bournemouth University for having us at their Volunteer Fayre, and Southampton University for their continued support in helping us to find new volunteers. We are also lucky enough to be working with an Intern from Southampton University who is helping us organise a Fundraising Walk through the New Forest in early autumn 2024, where families are invited to take part in a torch-lit walk with us to raise awareness of the issues we champion. Watch this space to find out more!

Volunteer Fayre at Bournemouth University
Volunteer Fayre at Bournemouth University

In the News

Police services are struggling to manage calls relating to mental health and report that it is hampering their ability to deal with crimes. They wish to change the public’s perception of who to reach out to about poor mental health and direct them towards health and social care services. Karen McKeown’s partner Luke Henderson passed away in 2017 after struggling with his mental health, and she voiced her worries that police officers are not trained to deal with such crises in mental health. The report wants the Scottish government to review how mental health is dealt with and create a clear path for people to get the support that they need. 

A mental health crisis line in Sussex reports that calls have more than doubled in 12 months, with those needing to attend A&E increasing by 15% between 2019 and 2023. The number of days that people are waiting on average for a bed due to mental health problems has increased from two to seven days since December 2021. Our mental health services are clearly unable to cope with this surge and the responsibility for this seems to be pushed back and forth between services. We need to consider the systems in place and the funding that they receive so that we can better support those struggling with poor mental health or mental illness. 

A report on HMP Peterborough states that inmates were without their prescribed medication, in some cases for many weeks. Whilst the report states that prisoners were seen to be treated with respect and compassion by staff, it also raised concerns about the unit’s mental health provisions resulting in the request for them to speak with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure that the most appropriate action for those suffering poor mental health or mental illness is being taken.

Broomhill Mental Health Hospital has been issued with a notice to remove its registration from the Care Quality Commission after an inspection revealed incredibly poor record keeping and an incident in which members of staff imitated a patient in their care. The hospital is appealing the notice and says that it will act swiftly to fix the issues that were raised.

Feeling inspired?

If you have some skills or interests that you would like to share – please reach out to us! We love meeting new people and are always on the look out for more fantastic volunteers.

Meet the Team: Mandy Hodson - Volunteer Co-ordinator

Mandy Hodson

You joined us earlier in the summer, as our Volunteer Coordinator, and we are delighted to have you on our team.   Could you tell us something about what attracted you to the role, and to Hammersley Homes?

I was excited at the prospect of joining a charity which is starting to make a difference to lives of others. I am passionate about helping others who are struggling in any capacity but particularly mental illness which is very misunderstood.  Hammersley Homes’ aims and objectives are clear and have vulnerable adults at the centre of everything they are setting out to do, starting with the Outreach Programme – I am happy to be a part of the journey.

What do you enjoy most about your work with us?

The diversity of the role and embracing the skills and knowledge each individual volunteer brings to the charity. 
I attended two volunteer fairs last month which enabled me to meet with some amazing charities and passionate volunteers.
It is a privilege to meet prospective Volunteers who are willing to dedicate their time, and this kindness is welcomed.  I love talking to volunteers about how the opportunity can also support them grow, and establishing how we can all work together for mutual benefit.

What would you say are the benefits of volunteering?   And how can we ensure that our volunteers have a good experience, working with us?

Volunteering for Hammersley Homes enables individuals to make a positive difference to people’s lives.  Having personal experience volunteering for vulnerable adults, I understand the challenges people face and the difference it makes when you show someone kindness and empathy;  I feel a sense of purpose and uplifted when I volunteer.  Through volunteering, you can gain confidence, improve your social skills, develop a sense of wellbeing and improve your self-esteem.
My role ensures every volunteer is supported through the application process and receives appropriate training and ongoing support.  Regular communication and openness to change is a vital as we develop our Outreach programme and welcome new volunteers in many areas of the business. We are so grateful for our volunteers’ support and always make sure they know this!

How can we encourage more volunteers to give their time to helping us with our project?

Raising Awareness and promoting our Vacancies on more volunteering platforms, social media and in the local communities so more people are aware of Hammersley Homes and the growing Outreach Programme.
I would love to engage with communities and talk about our volunteering opportunities and discuss how volunteering can benefit individuals looking to improve their skills and experience alongside gaining that rewarding sense of fulfilment.

Support our work

If you are able to make regular donations to Hammersley Homes, be that £1 or £10, the progress that we can make would be enormous. If you’re considering regular donations, please click the donate button below. As always, thank you for all of your support! We really couldn’t do it without you.

Please spread the word about our vital work OR DONATE just £3 a month to change a life, by texting 3HOMES to 70580.

Texts cost £3 plus two standard rate messages and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £3 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text 3HOMESNOINFO to 70580.

Hammersley Homes – Registered Charity Number 1180673