Homelessness can be a devastating and isolating experience for any person to endure. Did you know about the welcome buddy participation scheme that operates at the Emmanuel House Support Centre?

Following any new arrival’s assessment triage, they will be introduced to the Welcome Buddies. Here, they’ll receive a warm welcome along with information about the day-to-day running of the Support Centre. Our Welcome Buddies will be the first point of contact for information about meals, toilets, food vouchers and the basic services we offer including showers, laundry, the clothing store, C/O address and booking the use of computers. They will also be able to advise how to access the homeless heath team, the drop in sessions we run with Nottingham Law Centre, Solicitors and Victim Care and provide information on the social inclusion projects we run such as the allotment, Streetwise Opera, women’s group and art group.

The Welcome Buddy initiative has been launched following consultations with the Service User Group and a suggestion from a current visitor. We hope that this collaboration enables new visitors to feel welcome upon arrival and to get all the additional information they need about what Emmanuel House has to offer. The Welcome Buddies have weekly meetings with Senior Support Worker, Gary Drewry, to ensure support and training continues.

Caroline, a beneficiary herself, has been volunteering as a welcome buddy since July 2018. She tells us more about how it is going.

“It is going really good! I’m welcoming new people and helping them and it is helping me with my confidence. I am also learning that there are lots of different personalities and people with worse problems than mine. When a new person comes in they are usually sad because they are homeless. I can be that welcoming face, a friendly person and point them to staff members. I show them where the basic services are; the toilets, the nurses room, shower, clothing store and I explain about the meals and the vouchers. It is also helping me to be assertive and it feels good when I have welcomed someone and then they come back and I see them again.”