Charlotte, Night Shelter volunteer

Hi! My name's Charlotte and I've been a night shelter volunteer with ASSIST for around 4 years.

I stay at the shelter overnight, providing support to destitute asylum seekers in a number of ways; welcoming and talking with guests, ensuring that everyone has all of the bedding and food that they would like and ensuring the safety and security of the building and guests overnight.

The kitchen is always the centre of activity and the place where volunteers and guests meet to share information, stories, experiences and food! Despite the night shelter often being a last resort for people in the most desperate of situations there is always a happy, friendly atmosphere and I never cease to be amazed by the resilience and generosity of the guests. There can be challenges and the occasional language barrier but being part of such a committed, diverse and supportive team means that these can quickly be overcome.

I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world and have learnt so much about other countries, cultures and the challenges faced by asylum seekers in the UK. I've even picked up a few words and phrases of numerous languages along the way!

Being a night shelter volunteer is an incredibly rewarding role and I am proud to be part of such a fantastic charity.