Gav* first came in to our drop-in centre Basis@Sunderland for a food parcel four weeks’ ago. Gav was homeless and had been sleeping rough under a bridge in Sunderland for the past 5 months. He’d just managed to find some accommodation but was completely without food, possessions and even a bed.
Initially, Gav was anxious and very withdrawn, but slowly started to open up to the team at Basis. The team kitted him out with some clothing, towels and toiletries and asked him if he wanted to go grab a free meal at Bethany City Church next door. At first Gav wasn’t sure; he struggled with being in a crowd and was worried his mental health would take a dip if he did go. In the end one of the team went with Gav, and as he had his lunch he even ended up making friends with a couple of people there.
Back at Basis the team got in touch with Bethany City Church to see if anything could be done to find Gav a bed. Amazingly, they had a single bed stored at their premises and invited Gav to come along and take a look. Within no time Gav’s new bed was delivered by minibus to his new accommodation.
Gav returned to Basis the following week to say thank you for all the support he’d been given to help him get back on his feet. Gav seemed like a changed man, with a new confidence and outlook on life, and sat chatting to others who came into Basis sharing openly about his recent experiences and the support given to him.
As we celebrate our first three months since opening Basis@Sunderland, we wanted to share Gav’s story as a testimony to the difference a listening ear, a helping hand and a little kindness can make to someone’s life.
Just £10 could pay for four meals at our Basis drop-in centres in Gateshead and Sunderland. Please click here if you’d like to support our work.