360 interviews around 30 candidates per week. This tends to be based on client needs, market trends and opportunities we have to offer our candidates. As you can imagine, we meet a wide range of people, with interesting hobbies and habits. The best and the worst answers to interview questions happen in our offices! Sometimes, we get to meet inspiring candidates that do things ‘outside the norm’.
Patricia is one of those candidates. Patricia came to us looking for temporary or contractual work to hopefully lead to permanent employment. In addition to the standard interview questions, we asked Patricia what we couldn’t know from her CV alone…
Every Saturday, Patricia runs a programme called ‘Feed the Folk’, which takes place on College Road in Maidstone. This is a project geared towards feeding, supporting and caring for the homeless people of our local town. We had to learn more!
Forty Saturday afternoons a year we take soup, sandwiches and hot drinks to Maidstone town centre to give away to people in need. Many of the people, but not all of them, are homeless or in temporary accommodation. Most of them have complex needs, often involving substance abuse and/or mental health matters. Some of them have had skilled jobs in the past, others have rarely worked. They may well have been in prison. We can get quite a few Eastern European people who came here to work and then found that life here can be very difficult. We do not attempt to address their underlying needs, and realistically we cannot do that anyway. But what we can offer, is a friendly face and something to eat. This is always much appreciated.
How can a local agency support this cause?
Things we often need are non-perishable foodstuffs to give away, and also we are often asked for underwear (both male and female) and socks. If anyone has spare boots, sleeping bags or tents for us to give away, we would be pleased to pass these on. They don’t have to be new. We are hoping that candidates, job seekers and employers will bear us in mind next time they do a ‘charity shop’ bundle run and donate to us!
How would a local business get involved?
I have ideas of how local businesses could get involved, e.g.: an open space, a kitchen and the provisions to provide a hot meal free of charge once a week, or an empty building which can be made into a permanent night shelter.
When? What Time?
We meet in the open air car park at the junction of Knightrider Street and College Road, at 3.30pm every Saturday (apart from the first one in the month). Volunteers would be welcome – it’s not for everyone but those who do come can gain a lot of satisfaction from it. Volunteers can either serve tea, coffee, sandwiches or soup, or have a chat with the service users.
As yet we do not have any sort of social media or internet presence. You can contact us on 07952 693903 (Dan) or 07845 379849 (Patricia). Our landline is 01622 812669.
Why you are working with 360 in this way?
360 have kindly offered to put what we do into their newsletter, which will go to people who are willing to volunteer to assist us. We are happy for people to come along as and when they are available. I am looking forward to the 360 ladies helping us out and donating their time next month.