Hi, my name is Miguel I am the shop manager assistant to Dignify and I love it. I also help with the magazine by interviewing people for articles. The work that I do best in the world is helping others to build their confidence and trust within oneself to recover from traumas of the past. I love football and one day I would like to be a preacher.
Julie says: ‘Miguel has been volunteering with Dignify since December 16 and we are delighted that he has become part of our team. Miguel has a deep sensitivity, warmth and compassion for people, along with a deep sense of justice for things that are not right. Miguel believes in education as a solution and is committed to preventing homelessness in young people. Miguel is working with Kaydee on our magazine and on developing our next word-search book along with some of our Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers (due out in August).’
“Hi, I’m Daniel and I am the online shop and fundraising Intern at Dignify. I am also skilled at other things I love cooking and football in that order and Liverpool FC, just don’t ask me to do the laundry. My long term ambition is to avoid being in the places I’ve been.”
Julie says: ‘ Danny has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he is sharing with Dignify and it is a pleasure to have him on board and helping us develop and implement our online and social media strategy. Danny has strong views and a strong sense of what is fair and what is not. He brings a humour to our work place which is a great way to make everyone relax in the intensity of trying to achieve.
¨Working at Dignify gets me out of the house and builds my knowledge in business. While I am here I will help manage our sales and the online shop and hope one day to be a professional gamer.¨ – Ted
Julie says: ‘Ted has volunteered off and on with Dignify shop, after school or on a Saturday since it first opened. Ted is a very motivated Business Man and it has been great to get his support with products at Dignify’s second hand shop. Ted has an eye for antiques, is entrepreneurial, he is great at maths and working out profit margins of sales! Ted leads on sorting out and selling all of our games and DVD’s. Ted is compassionate towards and concerned about the well-being of people sleeping rough.’
Kaydee is our Creative Director here at Dignify, since graduating with a degree in Architecture in 2016, she has discovered her passion for people and graphics. At Dignify she is curating a magazine full of articles and other creative art works with our interns and volunteers. Kaydee is also passionate about sustainable development and tackling social injustice. In response to this she has recently launched a business with a friend selling natures own toothbrush which is on sale at www.branchbrush.co.uk
Julie says: ‘It has been great to have Kaydee involved with Dignify, using her skills to develop our magazine initiative and sharing her skills to develop others in the process . Kaydee has been selfless in the way she has gone about working on pulling the magazine together sacrificing her time in an amazing way. Kaydee encompasses everything Dignify is trying to facilitate in terms of sharing professional skills to include and develop people. ‘
Julie says, ‘Lucy is passionate about people being empowered, having a voice and about people in support services to be treated with dignity and respect.’
Phil is part of the advisory board of Dignify. As a surveyor he assists with property any property we are interested in using for developing various initiatives.
‘I am a Chartered Surveyor and have worked in the residential market for the last 29 years. My time is spent preparing reports and providing advice on repairing defects and preserving buildings to provide good quality and safe environments for Clients to enjoy. I am acutely aware of the lack of decent and affordable housing stock, particularly in London where I have been born and bred. I always provide clear and honest advice and help to steer Clients through difficult decisions, many of which are financial in nature when it comes down to cost of repairs.’
Julie is the founding director of Dignify and has worked within Homeless Services for 25 years. Previous to homelessness she worked as a residential social worker for children who had educational difficulties associated to behavioural problems.
‘It has been a privilege beyond words to be part of peoples’ lives at a time when they are often at their most vulnerable or when the impact of vulnerable times can be at its most desperate. Being involved with people who have experienced entrenched homelessness has been part of shaping who I am, it has shaped my life. It has taught me the importance of treating one and other with respect, with dignity, with grace and with forgiveness in every day life. I believe the consequences of doing the opposite can significantly contribute to someone’s downward spiral towards homelessness. Working in both the school and Homelessness has taught me to look beyond behaviour and look to understanding the route cause in order to work towards solutions.
There are so many paradoxes in homelessness. The tenacity of many people who have experienced homelessness is huge and a constant challenge to live up to and yet for many hopelessness and despair are all to evident. The urgency to act is always there, too many people have died unnecessarily, yet on the the other side of the coin people are hurting deeply and healing takes time. After 25 years of working in the homeless sector I am still learning about people, still learning about how to best respond to homelessness.
So many factors are at work that it can often paralyse action. A question I frequently come back to is ‘what would I want somebody to do for me if I were in that position? Or, how would I want to be treated if I were in someone’s shoes.’
Solutions to homelessness are about inclusion as much they are housing. I set up Dignify because I did not want to simply see people through a housing system, I want to be part of seeing lives transformed.