by Stacey Marriott – Night Light Crisis Café Coordinator
This week I caught up with two of the Night Light volunteers, Martin and Kathryn. Martin has previously been a guest at the Night Light Cafes and has recently applied and trained to become a ‘Peer Volunteer’. This role is for individuals who are no longer in crisis and want to become part of the Night Light community on a longer term basis, in a supporting capacity. Kathryn first applied to volunteer last summer and is now based with the Alive café at Newland on a Sunday evening having previously helped at the Bridge Central Café during lockdown 3.
Q:Tell me a little about yourselves
Martin: My name is Martin. I live alone and I enjoy exercise classes and do lots of early morning fitness classes.
Kathryn: Hi, I am Kathryn and I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I go to St George’s Church.
Q:What do you like to have for tea on your birthday?
Martin: Chicken or something like that
Kathryn: As much as possible
Q:How did you first become involved with the Night Light Cafe?
Martin: I saw the cafes advertised when my mum died last year and I live alone and I was feeling very lonely. I enjoyed going and drinking tea and putting the world to rights with the volunteers who made me feel a lot better. When I started to feel better I wanted to give something back so when I heard about the chance to become a Peer volunteer I applied. The training was good, I enjoyed it and I got to know a few things.
Kathryn: I know the coordinator and I was aware that more volunteers were needed and I had some free time. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to try something new in the area of Church projects which involve mixing with other people from outside of my own church.
Q;What is the biggest challenge of volunteering with the Night Light Cafe?
Martin: Seeing people under a lot of stress.
Kathryn: Missing Line of Duty and having to watch it on catch up!
Q:What is your favourite thing about volunteering with the Night Light Cafe?
Martin: Meeting people
Kathryn: Meeting all the other volunteers and seeing all the care and compassion for the guests and the passion for the project.
Q:What is one message you would like to share with anyone reading this who is struggling with their mental health?
Martin: Give the Night Light Cafe a try.
Kathryn: With the right help, one day you could look back at this day and be astonished with how far you have come.