By Andy Dalton
Two volunteers have arrived in Leeds from Germany and are helping a charity based in Armley.
Tina Weinreich and Mia Strebakowski are participating in a volunteer gap year, and among other responsibilities they are helping at the Leeds City Mission Compassion Centre in Mistress Lane.
Both are 18 years old and hail from the southern German state of Bavaria. They are hoping to improve their English and spend time helping Leeds City Mission in various projects.
Working from the ‘Mission Room’ premises both Tina and Mia help run the Pantry Project – the City Mission Foodbank based at Mistress Lane. This involves receiving donations of food, making up parcels and serving needy people who visit the City Mission Centre.
They have also been helping to prepare for the coming Christmas Pop Up Charity Shop project.
A variety of Christmas gifts, greetings cards, bric a brac are being assembled and sorted suitable for sale in the run up to the Christmas season.These will be displayed enabling local residents who are struggling with the cost of living crisis and limited budgets to buy gifts and presents at cheap prices they can afford. The initiative will also help raise vital funds for other social initiatives organised by Leeds City Mission. It will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 10.30am–2.30pm for the next 11 weeks.
Tina and Mia played a significant role in the recent Centenary Open Afternoon. They helped to organise this event serving refreshments to some of the dozens of people who turned up to a most successful afternoon.
Both said they were enjoying their volunteer roles and meeting a wide variety of people. They said that they appreciated the friendliness of Yorkshire folk and that the cross cultural experience was proving invaluable.
City Mission spokesperson Dagmar Truman said that their efforts and input were proving to be very helpful. She hoped their stay in Leeds would prove to be enjoyable and worthwhile.
Leeds City Mission is a multi-church Christian agency which has worked with marginalised people since 1837 and seeks to meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of Leeds residents.