For the third year in succession, Wolves Foundation are linking up with the Good Shepherd for the Molineux Sleepout, with all funds raised shared between the two charities.
The Foundation and Good Shepherd have linked up on several different initiatives over recent years, sharing common aims of helping address issues and improve the lives of people in the local community.
This has included practical support such as donations of food and equipment, as well as player visits and linking up on projects such as Feed Our Pack and, most recently, football sessions at the Aldersley Arena.
“We remain extremely appreciative of the support we receive from Wolves Foundation and opportunities to link up on different projects,” says Tom Hayden, Head of Operations at the Good Shepherd.
“Many of our service users are Wolves fans, and it is particularly special for them to link up with the Foundation when the two charities work together.”
While the daily food service at the Good Shepherd remains what it is most known for within the city, it underpins a range of different support services which the charity provides to help people get back on their feet.
Funds raised help not only to provide food to those in need but also other goods for people in accommodation and opportunities for meaningful activities including the art and photography group which recently staged an exhibition housed at the Light House Cinema and in the Mander Centre.
The team leader for the art group, Leanne, was, several years ago, sleeping in a tent on the outskirts of Wolverhampton City Centre and struggling with addiction to drink and drugs.
After accessing the Good Shepherd for support, she managed to turn her life around and now into her second year of a fine art degree at the University of Wolverhampton.
“When you come to the Good Shepherd, as I did when I needed help, you don’t feel like just a service-user,” Leanne explains.
“You feel like part of a family.
"We've all felt like we're outsiders but we're not and we just want to be treated the same as everyone else.
“And the art has helped me fully express my feelings and emotions.
"It has allowed me to lose myself in my thoughts and imagination and to tell my story through art."
Matthew is another who has benefitted from the Good Shepherd and has transformed his life from being a former rough sleeper and addict before the pandemic to now being free of drugs for nine months, back re-engaged with family and volunteering with SUIT in Wolverhampton.
“I am not a horrible person, it is just when you get into the situations that I did with addiction you just don’t care about anything,” he says.
“Now with the help of the Good Shepherd I care about things again, I can spend money on myself again and it’s not drugs.
“My family? They are speechless to be honest – my Dad has Parkinson’s but he is able to come and visit me.
“My nieces and nephews are used to me being around for a bit and then being in prison but now I have been around for a while and can be there with a birthday card and things like that – I think they are lost for words as well!
“I couldn’t have turned things around any better really, and it feels like now I have got something to live for, every single day.”
Taking part in the Molineux Sleepout will help people who are at the start of the journeys that Leanne and Matthew have been on, as well as so many others supported by the Good Shepherd and Wolves Foundation.
The event, within the Stan Cullis Stand, runs from 7pm on Friday, November 12th to 7am on Saturday, November 13th and is open to Over-18s only.
Tickets cost £35 per person with participants encouraged to raise a minimum £150 fundraising.