George, ASSIST client

I came to Sheffield looking for a safe place to live. When I was refused asylum by the Home Office I became destitute.

I found ASSIST through a friend and I was able to use the night shelter to sleep. I spent some time living in an ASSIST house. Unfortunately my time came and I’m back at the night shelter sometimes. At one of my meetings with ASSIST one of the volunteers suggested I do some voluntary work.

I started working on the shop floor at a charity shop. I enjoy going there, it’s sociable and I can chat to people. I go three days a week. I work on the till and sort the clothes and bric a brac. I have lots of spare time. It keeps me busy.

I have also recently started volunteering with Timebuilders. I teach people English. There are a wide mix of people, some have been in Sheffield a long time. I enjoy this work the most.

I am in the ASSIST events team. I helped sign people in at their annual general meeting last year. It was good to see all the people that care about asylum seekers. I’ve helped at ASSIST market stalls too, it can be a long day, but you get to chat to lots of different people. Lots of people in Sheffield don’t know very much about ASSIST. It’s good to tell them what we do and then they can understand the difference it makes.

I’m pretty busy now, it keeps my mind off my situation and I have met lots of people. I would recommend other people in my situation volunteer, I’m glad someone suggested it to me.