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Visit to Sifa Fireside Drop in Centre

On Friday 17th June, six Year 12 students, Mr Jaep and myself spent a day volunteering at Sifa Fireside Drop in Centre in Digbeth. The purpose of the visit to Sifa Fireside was to provide breakfast and lunch service to people of all ages who find themselves homeless. Sifa Fireside aim to “improve health and inclusion for homeless people”, they provide hot meals, an opportunity to shower and receive treatment and education.  Sifa Fireside hand over the running of the kitchen and food service every Friday to volunteers from different organisations (mainly corporate) to deliver hot meals to around 100 clients. 

The day started with an induction from the Service Manager and we were split into two teams for the day.  Laine, Natalee, Lily and myself started in the kitchen.  Natalee and Lily were in the kitchen supporting breakfast service and prepared the vegetables for the clients expected at lunchtime.   Laine and I served breakfast which was bacon, toast and fruit.  In total 92 people were served breakfast; Laine took the whole experience in her stride – as if she did this every day! 

Whilst we were completing food service, Erika, Jess, Amber and Mr Jaep were in charge of the clothes store.  This involved sorting out clothing donations and tidying the clothing store.  They were also involved in the issuing of clothes and sleeping bags to clients.

After a short break it was back to preparing the lunch for Jess, Erika, Amber and myself, which included cooking mackerel, preparing more vegetables and dishing up the puddings, so they were ready for the start of lunch service.  We then served the prepared lunch to 98 clients and cleared up afterwards.

Laine, Natalee, Lily and Mr Jaep carried out duties on reception and front of house.  This involved printing off maps for people to go to interviews, issuing post and people collecting food parcels.

One of the students said that she felt guilty that she has so much and the people who use the Sifa Fireside centre have so little.   I do not think that any of us should necessarily feel guilty as such, but it is important to remember, as part of our Catholic faith and especially in the Year of Mercy, that there are people less fortunate than ourselves and, where we can, we always need to help others, whether that is volunteering, fundraising or collecting for the food bank.

All the staff, volunteers and clients were very friendly, helpful and welcoming and we are very grateful for the experience that they gave us all.  All the girls said they would like to return to Sifa Fireside again to volunteer.  Once again, I was very proud of the girls and they are a credit to themselves and the school. 

Further information on Sifa Fireside can be found on their website which is http://www.sifafireside.co.uk/

Mrs Eden
Teacher of Health and Social Care

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