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Patrick McGullion, BCHA’s Kitchen and Conference assistant - and all-round fixer!

People across BCHA happily comment that Patrick McGullion is everywhere they look - and he certainly is one very busy man. Often behind the wheel of his large New Leaf van Patrick delivers food between The Factory and BCHA’s supported housing, sometimes moving customers who have previously been homeless into their homes and is often mending broken furniture. Here, he tells why he loves his varied job.

“I am one of 12 children and have an older brother and 10 sisters. I was born to very particular parents, including a wonderful Roman Catholic mum who instilled in all of us the importance of helping people less fortunate than ourselves.

“That’s probably why I’ve spent a lot of time over the years doing things like working in charity shops, helping people to read and write and using my carpentry skills to train other people in the trade.

“I moved to Dorset 14 years ago from Reading and saw a job advertised at BCHA’s The Factory, collecting and testing appliances.

“The nature of The Factory has changed several times over the years, from a training academy to somewhere selling new and part used furniture, to conferencing and shared workspace.

“My background in carpentry was used in the Academy and I turned out to be the very first New Leaf employee. I also handled the bookings for conference space back when it was used heavily by the Council and NHS.

“When Covid hit and the conference and shared working space side of the business waned, my role adapted again.

“I still work half days at The Factory where I take delivery of and sort out all the food that comes into the kitchen. I then deliver food to our accommodation at 10 St Pauls, Dorset Lodge and Lansdowne Gardens, before staying on at St Pauls to handle any maintenance issues they might have, or to help people moving in - and of course those moving on or into to new accommodation.

“If people need new fridges or cookers or the like – which they do, because generally people have very little - I am there with my van helping to get it to them.

“And when BCHA is given donations of furniture or appliances, I’m the one who generally picks it up.

“I’ve met some fascinating people over the years who have completely turned their lives around and started afresh with BCHA’s help.

“It’s definitely one of the highlights of the job when someone thanks you for helping them move into their own place.

“More than anything I am happy to be out and about – I suppose my ultimate nightmare would to be deskbound.

“People often do a double take and swear they’ve only just seen me buzzing about somewhere completely different!

“I’m proud of my job. I’m very passionate about the work BCHA does helping and supporting people and it makes me feel satisfied to be playing a part in that.”

 

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