Hi. I’m Colin and I’ve been a volunteer for Reach Out for just over a year. After 30 years working with the vulnerable of Manchester I decided, after years of austerity, to take early retirement.
I had met Steph and Becky when donating regularly at their green grocery store. I rallied all my friends and family to search their homes, dig out what they could part with. Initially it was the basics. Socks, pants, t shirts etc – anything that could be given out immediately to those in need. My friends were amazing and arrived at my door with blankets, sleeping bags – 25 in a single donation.
I continued to be brought items after I retired and when the shop opened I would beg for anything that could be sold. Eventually, I realised that just donating – however valuable it remains – wasn’t enough, so I offered my services as a handyman and for anything that needed to be picked up or delivered. Now, whenever I get the call, I deliver food parcels to those who have been referred.
I get a big kick out of it but until government policy changes I know I will need to do more.