LBU Together

Volunteering at foodbank House of Bread during the pandemic.

Leeds Beckett University student Bethany Keeling reflects on volunteering at foodbank House of Bread during the coronavirus pandemic.
Published on 08 Jun 2020

The world has gone sideways: very few things are like they were and people have had their lives disrupted.

This is always going to cause tension. A few may worry about how they will cope regardless of others and a few may worry about how others will cope regardless of themselves.

It has been wonderful to see so many people in our communities decide to help other people and contribute to an unanimous effort to support each other.

Food banks and charities that support those who are vulnerable people in the community have seen a huge influx in those accessing their service.

This is not only in the form of food parcel delivery, but also as a phone call to see how emotionally they may be doing; working with social services or the police to make sure someone is safe; the continuous support of those who may be in drug or alcohol rehabilitation, large amounts of debt or living in a difficult family situation.

As a charity we refer to service users as friends to destigmatise overly statutory terms.

It is my privilege to be in a position of being on the frontline, helping the world in my own small way - one person at a time - at House of Bread. Volunteering here has changed the way that I approach casework forever.

The coronavirus crisis has ranged from being an inconvenience for some to horrific for others. Yet, it is always important to face any new challenge with a clear mind and not only focus on how awfully it is affecting you but how, if you are able, you can work through it and come out better on the other side.

House of Bread exists in the chaos of our friends’ lives. We have always had to see the positives with our friends who on a day-to-day basis face horrific decisions, face up to terrible choices or just have the rubbish of life thrown at them.

So moving through the coronavirus crisis we have always strived to look at what it is offering as well as respecting what it is taking.

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