I would love to introduce you to.. our wonderful volunteer Lianne!
"I started volunteering with Restore around 4 years ago, initially going out on the Thursday evening out reach. I remember being really nervous the first few times worrying what kind of reception we would receive from the women and how I might struggle to hold conversations with people whose lives seem so far removed from my own. It only took a couple of weeks for my confidence to build and actually realise that most of the ladies were really chatty and loved talking about their lives, sharing problems that may not be like my own, but also lots of things that I could relate to on some levels. It didn't take long for the ladies to begin to recognise my car and actually wave us down so that we could stop and catch up and have a good natter, even sharing their bags of chips that were laced with salt and ketchup! It was quite humbling to be welcomed into their lives, sharing in the ups and downs and daily struggles that they faced.
Over time I began to help with the befriending side of Restore, one lady in particular, who wasn't a prostitute, but was fleeing domestic violence. We helped her move into a refuge and began visiting on a regular basis. We supported her over the next few years, becoming great friends and getting to know her child really well. I have no doubt that without the help of Restore this lady would not have got out of her situation and that her child would have been removed from her due to the high safe guarding issues that would have surrounded them.
I am currently on maternity leave, but cannot wait to begin out reach again. It takes time to get to know some of the girls, and in fact it's not uncommon to only see them once or twice, I encourage our supporters to continue to pray for the volunteers, that we find favour with the women, so that we can speak words of encouragement and truth into their lives. Quite often we may only be one of the few people who have the opportunity to be a positive and spiritual influence in their lives!