“I‘m not sure if it’s the good things or the bad things about the role that keep me going. My first soup run I remember meeting a particular man. I spoke to him about life on the streets, his upbringing and his adoption history. I was so surprised how he had completely opened up to me on this first initial meeting, all he needed was someone to talk to and someone to listen to him. He told me all he wanted was to find his birth mam and that it was so difficult for him to do so. I felt completely helpless. The minute I got home I rang my mam, I told her I was never going back, that it wasn’t for me. That whole week I dreaded going back. I couldn’t get him out of my head. I was wondering what he was up to, where he was and if he was alright. I met him on the streets a few times afterwards and it was always much easier than that first initial meeting, but his story always stuck with me. I saw on the news a few months later that he had died on the streets. There are sad stories associated with the role, but there are also amazing ones… like someone you meet regularly finally finding a home. Giving them soup and sandwiches isn’t going to solve anything, but sitting down and talking, even if it’s just about something completely useless like movies or books, just to get their mind of things that can make a big difference. It’s all about giving them someone to talk to and showing them that they are still part of our community. That makes it all worthwhile, that’s the stuff that keeps you going.”
Niamh – Dublin Simon Soup Run and Camino Walk Volunteer.