Hi, my name is Laurence. My first contact with ‘BOB’ was through the Badminton group at the old Kensington Leisure Centre eight years ago, at that point I was living in a hostel for people with addiction issues. It was there I got to know about the weekend service at Acorn Hall.

I started as a volunteer at Acorn Hall two-years ago; I thought it would benefit me on several levels. I believed it would be good for me to be around people with similar challenges and goals, I also thought it would help on my CV, as I hadn’t worked for over ten years. Looking back, it has been one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time! Seeing the many different and often vulnerable clients coming into use the service has been both eye-opening and life-changing for me, and being in the position to provide support to them whether with food, a cup of tea or just a simple ‘Hello’ has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

On a personal level, I believe I get more out of volunteering with ‘BOB’ than I put in. It has brought positive changes in me, it has helped me to become more tolerant and understanding of others, and to have respect for everyone, no matter how challenging they may be.

I am now fortunate enough to have been appointed in the role of Weekend Service Manager at Acorn Hall, and I look forward to turning up each weekend to see all the volunteers and service users.