A Normal Thursday in September 2019

By Stories

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!

Moving on…

By Matt's Cafe, Stories

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.

Family is Important

By Stories

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

Helping to Set Someone Up

By Stories

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.

Dignity Pack Charlotte

By Stories

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

A Humble Thanks

By Matt's Cafe, Stories

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

16th May

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.

Haircuts!

By Stories

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.

“Welcoming to all, regardless of background.”

By Stories

“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

A big Thank you!

By Uncategorised

Hello everyone!
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!