Here's how Melanie Leicester, a Street Pastor Volunteer, describes the experience.   

“I started volunteering for Derby City Mission by supporting the Winter Nightshelter, 7 years ago. As my main experience was catering I became a team leader in the kitchen, helping to organise a team of volunteers to cook a hot meal for up to 40 guests. Whilst volunteering in the shelters I got to meet and talk to different guests, from many different walks of life, and this fired a passion inside of me to want to serve and help these people.

I continued annually working in the night shelters of Derby until the Covid Pandemic meant they could no longer operate. Three years ago, my passion to want to serve and to be, ‘the hands, feet and voice of Our Lord,’ saw me continuing my volunteering commitment and applying to become a Street Pastor. Being able to walk the streets of Derby, as part of an amazing team of volunteers, offering support, help and comforting words whilst praying over the city has become a monthly normal part of my life.

Over the years that I’ve volunteered with Derby City Mission, there have been some great memorable experiences. A few years ago, I met a guest at Nightshelter, he was homeless and was in real need. Over the time connecting with Derby City Mission, he was able to transform his life. He was able to secure full-time work and his own flat… 4 years on he is still there and doing really well.

Street Pastors really is like being the fourth Emergency Service.

We have a lot of experiences together, some quite stressful and challenging. These experiences really do bring us together as a team. It actually means we are a BIG FAMILY, working together to bring the love of Jesus to the streets of Derby.

While I’ve given my time and commitment as a volunteer, I’ve also received so much back from volunteering, even experiences that have helped me secure a great full-time job as an Outreach Support Worker. I’ve gained so many skills from volunteering; listening, empathising and experiencing first-hand the chaotic and unstable lifestyles of the guests we deal with. Volunteering pushed me to learn about myself, to realise my limits, to understand what I really wanted from my life.

Volunteering has also helped me understand what and where God wanted me to be and what he wanted me to do…

Julio, DCM CEO once said to me “You always seem to be in the midst of things happening and this is because God has equipped you to cope with these situations and He puts the right people in the right places!”

I am thankful for Derby City Mission, for the wonderful group of people I volunteer with, that have become a second family. I’m blessed to have been able to volunteer and see the difference that our commitment makes to people’s lives.

If you're keen to volunteer with us at Derby City Mission, please register your interest here and we'll be in touch with more details. We'd love you to join the team!


If you struggle to give time at this current moment but are instead able to support us and our ongoing projects financially, we'd really value your regular or one-off donations which can be made here.