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.
We’re always looking for barbers and hairdressers that are willing to donate their services for only 3 hours a month.
Last month, we gave out 11 haircuts with our lovely talented volunteer hairdressers and one lady left after a full meal, waiting patiently in the queue for a haircut and told some of our volunteers that she felt like a million dollars!
Acts of kindness can lift people in ways we could never imagine! Let’s help make more people feel a million dollars.
“The staff and volunteers at Matthew’s House are friendly, supportive and welcoming. They are always keen to help everyone who visits the space and treat everyone with care, respect and dignity. Matthew’s House, and in particular Matt’s Café is a life-line to many of Swansea’s vulnerable and marginalised individuals, who can sometimes fall through the gaps in service provision. Matt’s Café and Matthew’s House is welcoming to all, regardless of background.”
Swansea City of Sanctuary
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!
Just to update and encourage you all Ellie Phillips (Matthew’s House Volunteer) has been a super helper and independently run a competition with local schools to fill our exhibition wall!
We had a few schools enter and three followed through with some fabulous artwork and lots of it!
The competition was to express Hope through art!
The winners will be unveiled on Sunday 26 November at 6pm at Matt’s Cafe and will be staying up for the whole of December with 2nd place covering January! (The work is Awesome!)
How cool is this?
Thanks Ellie you’ve been a star even with two Jobs she’s had withdrawals from Matthew’s House and is a keen volunteer in an free moment she has! You’re all welcome and Feel free to pop along to the unveiling 😉❤
“I should be housed in the next few days and I didn’t want to go anywhere else in Swansea to celebrate other than to have a coffee here – this place is like no other – it’s a sanctuary”.
Visitor to the Cafe
This month we had a little crisis! Our oven was very poorly. This is used almost daily by our incredible awesome creative cafe team to make the best and beautiful meals for Matt’s Cafe guests. We rung around and eventually came across Eric Collier and Son. They came and nursed our ‘machine’ for nearly 2 hours back to life. During this time our volunteers told them what we do and why… As they walked away we expected them to give us an invoice, but we received this instead: “Don’t worry about the cost, it’s my gift to you. Sounds like a great work you are doing here and fixing that was my good deed for the day