How giving back led to a new career for Nizar


Nizar became homeless after the death of his friend, who owned the house he lived in. After St Mungo’s Outreach team helped Nizar off the streets and into stable accommodation, he decided to give back by becoming a volunteer.

Fast forward two and a half years, and Nizar has used his volunteering experience to secure a job working as a Care Assistant at one of St Mungo’s care homes for the elderly. He shares his success story.

Starting over

“I became homeless after my friend passed away. We’d lived together for many years in the house she owned, but when she died, I lost everything. I tried to fight to keep my home and it even went to court, but eventually, I had to leave. I was so stressed out that I even lost my job.

I had no idea what to do, because I’d never had an experience like this before. I spent a few nights sleeping on night buses and benches – it was horrible.

Luckily, it wasn’t long before I met St Mungo’s Outreach team. They approached me whilst I was sleeping rough in Trafalgar Square, and found me a bed for the night.

From then on, St Mungo’s have had my back. They provided me with a safe place to stay and helped me get a place of my own through the Housing First scheme. It’s given me a firm foundation to start getting back on track.”

I became homeless after my friend passed away. We’d lived together for many years in the house she owned, but when she died, I lost everything.

Finding fulfilling work

“Volunteering with St Mungo’s gave me valuable experience of working with people who are experiencing homelessness, and enabled me to apply for the role of Care Assistant at one of St Mungo’s care homes.

We have 29 clients staying here, and it’s my job to look after their requirements, and assist them with things like changing clothes, washing, and getting meals.

It’s very rewarding work, and at the end of the day, I’ve got money to pay my bills. I’m finally standing on my own two feet, and it feels great.

If you want to help other people, and help yourself, I’d definitely recommend volunteering at St Mungo’s.”

Our care homes

“St Mungo’s run two registered care homes for older men who have experienced homelessness.

Some of our clients have been rough sleeping for many years, and we aim to provide a long term, secure environment where they can receive effective, compassionate and high quality care.”


The Volunteer Development Pathway

Nizar completed the Volunteer Development Pathway, which is designed to help volunteers build on their existing experience and develop the skills they need to move into employment at St Mungo’s.

Volunteers complete a mix of remote training and e-learning, and are offered practical support to help them apply and interview for new roles successfully.

It’s been really inspiring to see the journey that Nizar has come on. He’s taken on board all of the learning opportunities available to him, and showed so much drive. I’m so happy to see him independent and working.

– Sian, Volunteer Services Advisor


Interested in volunteering?

Volunteers play a crucial role in helping people recover from homelessness. The variety of experience, skills and knowledge they bring makes a real difference to the lives of the people we work with.

When you volunteer with us, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Make a difference to people experiencing homelessness
  • Develop new skills and experience
  • Work in a dynamic, friendly and supportive environment
  • Gain access to our volunteer training programme and e-learning
  • Meet like-minded people and make new friends

Find out more about our wide range of volunteering opportunities here