Sam Weiss battled drugs dependency for many years and had also been made homeless as a result. Although he had applied to other charities and community groups to become a volunteer, he had not been successful. He stated that Unity had been the only organisation who gave him a chance.
Sam Weiss was recognised in November through the Test Valley Annual Volunteering Awards for the contribution he had made to Unity as a volunteer over a year ago through the Inclusion project.
During his time with the Unity, he assisted in an administrative role, providing help with website development too. However, there were a number of events and activities in the community through which Unity Volunteering raised awareness of the benefits of volunteering. Sam was always the first to offer assistance on the day encouraging many other people to sign up as volunteers. Not only would he participate in anything that was being organised, he was always there to help set up and tidy up at the end of the day.
Last year, Unity ran a charity shop for two weeks. Sam was there every step of the way, helping the organisation raise over £3000 during that time. He even gave half his DVD collection away to sell and helped to take left over CDs’/DVD’s to a local second hand dealer.
Since volunteering with Unity, Sam’s life has changed dramatically. He has a roof over his head and a job locally with Two Saints, helping people who would otherwise be on the street themselves. Last week, Sam was offered a chance of a lifetime by being offered a job with a national charity who run homes for autistic children. Sam will now move to London to train as a home manager, a prospect that would have seemed impossible for him two years ago.
If you had asked me where would I be over a year ago, I could not have answered positively. Life was scary with little hope. Now I have to keep pinching myself with where my life is today. Thanks to saying yes to Unity and their support, I have a future that I can sustain and I am making a difference, said Sam
Terry Bishop, Unity Chief Executive said:
In the space of a year, Sam’s life has been changed forever through volunteering and by being given a chance to prove himself. Sam is a lively and entertaining character, who has worked so hard to turn his life around and we at Unity are delighted to have been a part of his positive journey. He is truly an inspiration to others and we wish him the very best of luck for the future in his new position.