Meet Shirlena

“I was put on Universal Credit. I got recommended by the job centre to come to St. Vincents.  It was to get me back into the swing of things and the working environment. I’d been away from work a long time and I was a full-time mum.  

I’ve been coming to St. Vincents for over a year now. I only live around the corner so it’s convenient for me. It’s a really good place to be.  There’s a diverse range of different people working here. The atmosphere is wonderful and it’s fun and I can be myself. I don’t have to pretend to be somebody else and worry, for me it’s like having another family. 

I get my sons involved as well. They come in and help when they can.  It’s better than them sitting at home or hanging around on the streets.  It’s really worthwhile and they love the idea of helping others. I don’t have that much money but at least I can give my time.” 


St Vincent’s Support Centre is based in East Leeds and offers a range of services and activities including English classes, debt advice, and counselling. With support from Leeds Community Foundation, they were able to expand their volunteering programme and encourage those identifying themselves as socially isolated to volunteer.