Join the Club
On the second Friday of every month, OneSJS volunteer their time to work at Friday club, a weekly drop-in service that provides companionship, a hot and healthy lunch and professional welfare support to the homeless, vulnerable and in need. The Friday Club has been running for 4 years and is co-hosted by C4WS Homeless Project and King’s Cross Methodist Church. Our partnership with them began in 2016, with Jacqueline Franco from Initiative in charge of running the project.
Let’s take a look at how this month went!
Friday Club opens every Friday between 11am and 2pm, offering a safe and welcoming space for people in need. This includes street homeless, those who have previously been homeless, those living below the poverty line and those who are socially isolated.
There is a capacity for 50 visitors each Friday who are able to access the club where they can get refreshments, a hot lunch, showers, donations of clothing and toiletries, hairdressing and use of a mobile library service.
There is also a member of staff from C4WS on hand to provide welfare support to those needing it. This might be around housing, employment, paperwork, health, Foodbank needs and emotional requirements.
Our role is to provide a cooking team, who will come in, prepare and serve lunch at Friday Club. A team of six Mediabrands members choose a meal they want to serve – main course and pudding! This month the team made Mac and Cheese, with a variety of ice creams for dessert.
It’s an amazing opportunity to spend your day doing something different and rewarding. We have three charity days a year on offer, and this is a great way to use one of them. After lunch is served, you have the chance to sit and talk with the visitors and get to know them. It’s very clear this means a lot to them, and there are some very interesting characters to chat with!
As well as Friday Club, Mediabrands also takes part in Jobs Club. Four times a year between December and March, again in partnership with C4WS Homeless Project, there is an opportunity for employees to sign up and take part in interview training sessions with people from the shelter.
Volunteers give up a couple of hours of their afternoon to take part in speed interviews with the guests (the unemployed participants) which includes helping them to create a CV, improving their understanding of where and how to apply for work, and teaching them useful interview techniques. The role of Jobs Club is to help guests support themselves and move on with their lives once they have left the shelter, and it also gives Mediabrands employees a chance to improve their interview skills!
These are both such great initiatives to get involved with – remember you have three charity days a year available!
It would be great to hear from anyone who has been using their charity days as part of any other projects. If you would like to share your experiences and the charities you have been working with, please email Amy.Gorton@mbww.com