Meet one of our Dining Hall volunteer veterans

10 January 2022
Tim Cherry, Dining Hall volunteer

Dining Hall volunteer Tim Cherry has been involved with Sacred Heart Mission for nearly 16 years.

He first became involved after joining the Sacred Heart Cricket Club. One of his cricket mates was also involved in the Community Cup, a historical fundraising event for Sacred Heart Mission that involved a charity AFL match; and Tim was intrigued about what the organisation did.

“I wanted to give something back to the organisation that shared its name with the club,” Tim said.

“I started volunteering in the kitchen regularly on a Sunday morning, and now it’s a Saturday about once a month.” He also participated in a workplace volunteering day in Bentleigh op shop – but it is working in the kitchen he most enjoys. He spent his gap year saving money for university studies by working as a kitchen hand and says, “chefs are good fun, but they’re all a bit mad!”

Volunteering during the pandemic

Like many of our volunteers, Tim has not been able to be as involved recently due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic – rather than serving meals, he has packed bags to give to clients as part of our takeaway service. He is looking forward to the Dining Hall reopening again.

Tim is quick to share how impressed he is with Sacred Heart Mission staff, for their dedication and hard work. He generously provides Sacred Heart Mission with a monthly donation and plans to add a bequest in his Will to Sacred Heart Mission. For Tim, “homelessness and social issues have become a passion.”

He also enjoys speaking to clients, and other volunteers, and hearing about their interesting lives and what brought them to Sacred Heart Mission. “You meet a lot of characters!” he says.

Homelessness can happen to anyone

He remembers one experience of recognising a former school mate in the Dining Hall. “He’d gotten himself into a bit of trouble – not paying parking and speeding fines; and was given the choice of going to jail or having to pay it back over time.”

“It just shows you that one bad decision; or unfortunate moment – losing your job, or even Covid can put you in the position of needing help from a place like Sacred Heart Mission to get back on your feet.”

Despite having a busy professional and family life, Tim has continued to volunteer regularly – and it is the people who keep him around. “The organisation is full of impressive people – and I am proud to be involved, I love it.”

“The depth, quality and diversity of the Mission’s services are impressive and incredibly important, so I would encourage people to get involved in any way they can.”

Join us and make a difference
Interested in becoming a volunteer with Sacred Heart Mission? Learn more about our current volunteering opportunities: