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Kate and Ellie Butler
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      Katie and Elle Volunteering at the Carpenters & Dockland Centre

What plans do you have for 2020? And just how did you spend the seasonal holiday? Sisters Elle and Katie Butler decided they would put their professional jobs on hold and volunteer their time serving the homeless in their hours of need. They explained how they got involved, why and what the future holds for them in 2020.

This was recorded by Wayne in the noisy atmosphere where breakfast was being served at the Carpenters & Dockland Centre, 98 Gibbins Rd, E15 2HU where Elle and Katie volunteered their time. We hope you can follow the conversation over the high background noise.

The Centre is a youth, community and social centre providing services to a wide range of residents in the local community, It is located close to the Building Crafts College, and its facilities include a sports hall, judo training room, multi-gym and meeting rooms. It's normally open from 9.00am to 10.30pm each day, offering a variety of social, educational and recreational pursuits for the community, from young toddlers to the elderly. As well as offering facilities for sport, the Centre provides a place for a friendly chat and cup of tea. It has a resident Carer and Toddler group, a youth club and activities for the over 50s. It provides a secure environment for children to play after school has finished, and encourages residents of all ages to participate as volunteers.

Over the Christmas and New Year period the Centre opened as a refuge for homeless people, with 100 beds and regular hot meals available, thanks in large part to Sainsbury’s who donated two delivery vans filled with groceries plus two new water urns. Free hairdressing was also offered by qualified volunteer hairdressers. The shelter was staffed 24/7 entirely by volunteers.

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