Xmas Holiday - December 2016

Beacon Trustees and their family and friends met Farzana and Darryl, the two Beacon Scholars at Cambridge and LSE respectively, for a lunch in Chinatown followed by theatre in London. 

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While Farzana went home for the remainder of the holidays, Darryl stayed in London and undertook some community service at Crisis at Christmas. Here is his report:

Volunteering at Crisis

by Darryl Ursin

Crisis is a charity that runs a volunteer programme over Christmas at several shelters around the city to provide mostly homeless (and sometimes just lonely) people a sense of community around Christmas time. I signed up to be a general volunteer over the course of three days spread out over the Christmas period. Each of my three shifts were incredibly fun and a constant learning experience.
The biggest thing I got out of the experience once it was over was a deeper understanding into what providing support for someone means. It was a very different form of charity than I have previously been involved in, as there was no raising of funds, or handing out donations. This was my first time just spending afternoons and evenings talking to people who needed an ear to hear them out. It was humbling to hear other people's experiences, and to just be a friend who can have casual conversation with them for an hour. I saw just how much some people need that type of support. Another big lesson was just how much it takes to run a care centre. There are very many background roles that need to be done and some are extremely difficult (wiping down a kitchen that just served 300 meals is no small task) and most are mundane but vital.
Almost all the guests were nice people who were real fun to interact with and my fellow volunteers were also awesome people who were fun to be around. Both really made the experience special.

Darryl was also invited to spend some time with the Trustees to walk on the cliffs by the sea. It was his first glimpse ever of the ocean, and he was suitably impressed. Though it was very cold, we were able to have lunch on the beach and finished the day on Brighton pier.

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Darryl has written a letter to the Trustees expressing his appreciation for The Beacon Scholarship. To view Darryl's letter please click here.