Firstly, we just want to say thank you. The journey so far has been humbling and incredible. We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support and how many people have wanted to donate their time, treasure and talent to see Matthew’s House succeed in all that it does. So, thank you for your part in the Matthew’s House family – your part in making things happen. We were recently reminded of a quote that resonates with us:
‘There are some people who think things should happen,
there are some people who like to see things happen
and there are those people who make it happen.’
It’s an absolute pleasure to work alongside those ‘that make it happen’ – those who are doing good things, loving people and helping provide hospitality and hope to the folk of Swansea. Prior to managing Matthew’s house, I spent 7 years working in Port Talbot Steelworks. During my final year there I simply volunteered – as part of The Hill Church team who purchased the building, then known as St Matthew’s Church. In those first few months I experienced first-hand what can happen if a group of ordinary people would be willing to give something a go, count the cost and dream big. I never anticipated then that within a short space of time I would be asked by the team to leave my career and work for the project! The remit they gave me was simple – build and manage Matthew’s House, to take it from an empty building to a home, full of life and love! When we considered our first initiative – Matt’s Café – we knew as a leadership that we need some dedicated time from someone to maintain the momentum. That is when I was asked to sign-up as a paid employee! Since that day our lives have completely changed – for the better. It still takes nearly every moment of my time – so I feel like a volunteer! Even on my ‘downtime’, when I am on my Xbox (Yes, I am still like a big kid!) I have got my headset on talking to other key volunteers.
The thing I love is talking to our Matthew’s House family – planning new initiatives, hearing the stories of lives being changed. Hannah and I would both say it has consumed us, but we love it, no matter how stressful it be. I have learnt so much over the past year and am so thankful for every person who has contributed to make it work. I never thought Matthew’s House would have made the impact it has done, over the past 8 months. That is down to so many people, all of you! We feel like we belong to an even bigger family, one that was described by a volunteer as a ‘bit nuts, but a good kind of nuts’!
We now have over 70 volunteers and 56 Friends of Matthew’s House who generously give every single month just to help us to do what we do. We want to strengthen and grow. We are a family of people – all with different circumstances (e.g. retirees, unemployed, social workers, plumbers, builders, directors, roofers, t-shirt printers, electricians, estate agents, hair dressers and designers) who come together to make a difference. By the end of 2018 we want to beat the numbers from 2017 (9,000 meals, 100’s of dignity packs, 45 Christmas lunches). Whether you are a fundraiser or someone who help us with maintenance or food collections, every single one of you has been so intentional in everything you do for Matthew’s House and we want to say a personal thank you.
Huge thanks and big love (and hopefully see you soon),
Thom and Hannah
PS: Check out The Wave Radio #ColdTruth fundraising and awareness campaign online. We are one of their 3 nominated charities – how awesome is that!