We had a very successful formal opening event on 16th May where we welcomed our supporters and donors along to see the refurbished building (pictured).
But what are our clients and volunteers making of the new set up? We went along to the Gateway Centre to find out.
“It’s cool! It looks very smart – more space, not as dingy… before it used to get a bit claustrophobic” – client.
“There’s a better atmosphere, it’s a lot lighter. There’s also a lot more daylight coming in. It’s like a fresh start. The other three locations for Lifeline were all underground. It was like they wanted to put street people into a grave. Now they’re here, back on the earth, more visible” – Ann, volunteer.
“It’s a lot lighter. Access is easier for people with mobility issues because there are no steps. Another good thing is that we are all together (Lifeline and Life Skills). Previously there were people at Life Skills who never went to Lifeline. And now people from Lifeline are asking about Life Skills projects” – Lee, client.
“I like it being on the first floor because you can look at the world around you. It’s also great to have real cutlery, real plates, and real cups” – client.
“I never volunteered at the Abbey vaults but I understand it was fairly cramped. York St was more spacious, but it was a bit awkward to get down the steps. In here (Gateway) people can feel human. There is club atmosphere where people feel like they belong and are members! It’s somewhere they are recognised and welcomed” – Paul, volunteer.
“I love it. The warmth of décor and natural light coming through provides an environment which encourages positivity. We are seeing a steady increase in the number of people since we first moved. The clients are passing the message onto others and we’re seeing new faces” – Sean Sutton, Deputy Manager, Lifeline.
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