Providence Row celebrated 150 years of volunteering on Monday with an Afternoon Tea at the historic Cutlers’ Hall. Providence Row was founded in 1860 by Father Daniel Gilbert and the Sisters of Mercy and was the first non-sectarian shelter in London. Since then the East End has changed dramatically but the charity’s mission of helping anyone in need has remained the same. The charity helps people find a pathway out of homelessness. Thousands of people pass through their doors each year, some stopping for breakfast and a shower, others coming for specialist advice and support or to participate in training and activities.
At the Tea there were tributes paid to all those volunteers and pro bono workers who have helped to provide services to homeless people in the East End of London since 1860. In speeches by the Chairman Simon Bartley, Chief Executive Jo Ansell and Honorary Vice President John Hughesdon, Providence Row thanked all those who have given their time to the charity and said it would be impossible to run services for up to 200 people a day, without them.
Chief Executive Jo Ansell said: "This afternoon was about acknowledging the commitment, courage and heart that all the volunteers over the years have brought to Providence Row. Our volunteers are like the writing in a stick of rock – they go all the way through – helping with everything from consultants advising on the direction of the Charity to client volunteers washing up and serving breakfast’"