Charity seeks helpers to keep up good work
A CARMARTHEN charity which opened its doors 12 years ago to help the homeless is calling on new volunteers to join.
The Salvation Army Christian Centre, in Lammas Street, opens its doors to the public every morning, offering help and support to people from a variety of backgrounds.
But now the voluntary group is calling on more people to add its team of 24.
The centre opened its doors more than a decade ago and since then, because of its prominent position in the town, it has become a frontline reaching point for the impoverished people, not just of Carmarthen but reaching as far as Pembrokeshire and even Ireland.
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The charity offers services such as giving people food, offering them hot showers and giving essential support to get back on track.
To help raise funds, volunteers can also work in the onsite charity shop.
Minister Neil Duquemin volunteers at the centre.
He said: "I'm just really passionate about people who are marginalised by society.
"I just love it, some of them are real characters."
Michael John-Bowen, who himself has had help from the charity, spoke highly of the volunteers.
"It's helped me out a lot," he said. "The centre has clothed me, let me take showers and feeds me."
Some of the volunteers have come from unsociable backgrounds where depression, drug addiction and self harm have taken over their lives — and find the centre has helped in turning their world around.
Volunteer Guy Mealing is due to gain his OCN qualification.
"The Salvation Army has helped me stay clear of the drugs," he said.
"I am going to gain a qualification, I've been helped out and now it's my turn to help other people.
"It's helped me sort my life out and given me a sense of purpose."
Donna Jeffrey, now manager at the centre, has worked with the Salvation Army for 11 years. Before she joined, she suffered from depression and experienced the breakdown of a relationship.
First experiencing the Salvation Army as a "customer", she began her career by volunteering, and has now managed the centre for six months.
She said: "It's definitely changed my life, and through the support, I can change other lives and change their worlds around."
To volunteer, contact the Lammas Street centre on 01267 242978.