One Monday morning in the autumn of 2019 we received an early caller to Matthew’s House. As we were not yet open, one of the team spoke to the guest and reminded him of our opening times as he was a regular. The guest was a man who seemed more confused than normal and not his usual self. Within the first few minutes the guest collapsed on the doorstep with a seizure. Following this, he lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. The volunteers called 999, whilst a member of the team began to render first aid to the gentleman. It became necessary to commence chest compressions and one of the volunteers ran to the railway station where there was an accessible defibrillator.
One Sunday afternoon at Matthew’s House a young couple came in to donate. Nothing unusual about that. .. but this couple were awesome because they had once been guests of Matthew’s House. For more than six months they had lived together on the streets of Swansea – sometimes in tents. For them, Matthew’s House had been a lifeline. Eventually they got a message about a home being available for them to move into but it was out of county and in mid Wales – more than 2 hours away from Swansea. They moved as they didn’t want to live on the streets anymore. That Sunday they were coming down to Swansea just to say hello, donate to us and thank us for being there for them when they needed it the most. They also said they miss Matthew’s House, Swansea and hope to be back one day! We were very glad to see them again and grateful for their donation of a sackful of crisps.
One Sunday in September a regular guest came into Matthew’s House and approached the reception to say hello. As the volunteer was saying hello back, the guest, a known rough sleeper, got out an envelope and handed over all that was in it: two £5 notes and said “This is for this place. Thank you”. And he walked off. On that day this guest had scrubbed up well -still rocking a fuzzy beard- but looking a whole lot sharper than his previous visits. This just shows that if you show love to others in their most desperate times, many will thank you in their own way someday! We love what we do and this is a reminder that what we do matters. We really are showing our city and our nation how to be kind and caring at a time when we all really need it.
On the 23rd September one of the guests was asked if everything was ok and how they were doing. It was a run of the mill question…but their response was brilliant and well worth quoting:
“Yes, I’m full up and that was tidy. Bang tidy! I’m so full now. Thanks!”
One of the team was at Matthew’s House in September, planning events, recruiting volunteers, communicating training and setting up ready for the harvest festivals. In amongst the work the phone went and one of the team answered it. On the other end was a hungry and desperate person asking for help. That day Matthew’s House was shut but with the partnerships and friends Matthew’s House has made all over Swansea we were able to signpost the gentleman to places where he could eat, seek warmth and then reminded him of our opening times so he could come and visit us the next time we’re open. He was thankful and finished the call in what sounded like a hopeful sigh of relief.
These moments are warming, knowing that we can help even when we are closed. Building a reputation and working with others in our city is important and we’re just here to serve and love anyone who needs it. Knowing that our number and contact details are being shared to those who need it without us knowing is testament to the work of our wonderful volunteer family and we couldn’t be happier in moments like these!
Back in February (2017) when it all started at Matt’s Café a Guy in his late 40’s messaged us. It was through a friend and on Facebook that this Swansea lad got in touch with us and thought “I’d like to get involved with that”. This guy before Matts Café had struggled with addiction but recovered well. However the same as many he struggled with isolation and a lack of community around him until he joined the Matts Café Gang. After a month of Mondays he became part of the furniture at Matthew’s house and stayed absolutely core for over 3 months until an opportunity came up. Now from September 2017 this guy is running his own butchers having gained value, confidence and purpose through Matt’s café he is fully set for round 2 of what the world has for him and is still linked in with all the beautiful works of Matthew’s House.
One of our regular guests hasn’t seen his dad for 40 years. He shared this with a volunteer of ours, who thought that he maybe able to help this guest find his dad. With the permission of the guest, our volunteer started to make some enquiries to local businesses in the area’s that our guest believed his dad was living. One day in April, our volunteer went looking for our guest’s dad. He spoke to owners of a cafe and some other businesses locally. Then on the 1st of May, the volunteer had a phone call from the cafe owner who he contacted. The owner had Read More
Sharing the moment. Sometimes because of how we welcome people, they welcome us into their lives…. And because of this we get to share some special moments. Recently we had a guest, one of many months who shared his excitement alongside nervous feelings about moving from a hostel into a little place of his own. A moment he’s been waiting for, for a while. With this we siezed an opportunity with a food parcel and goodies to set him up with a congratulations card from our volunteer family. Sharing this moment is just one of many that we live and love to be part of! Moments that encourage us and fire us up to keep giving out the hospitality and hope we already do.
Warmth found in a dark place by charities working together!
Here is a story we had the privileged to be part of including our DIGNITY PACKS gifted to a woman suffering period poverty in Swansea. We have changed the name for reason of dignity and protection.
Charlotte is a young mother with a very bright boy who’s just started nursery and a girl in year 4. Charlotte lost her Sister a few years ago and has been very depressed ever since. The relationship with her partner broke down in 2017 and sent her into a spiral of self-harm, substance abuse and resulted in hospitalisation for mental health. Her children then had to go and live with their Dad. During her six weeks in Hospital, Charlotte failed to respond to any post. This meant she lost her Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and failed to complete a PIP application. Read More
On a very busy Tuesday (We get many) at Matt’s café, one of our awesome team members was surprised when they stumbled upon a small envelope on the reception desk. When sharing this with the kitchen manager they opened the envelope that was unaddressed together. The Kitchen manager pulled out of the envelope a card, a Thank you card and opened it … Inside read this:
“To Matt’s Café,
Thanks for the good food
From a hungry person”
How humbling it was for our super servers to be blessed with such gratitude – The power of a costless thanks is more than most can believe.