Lesley’s Blogspot 

In the time that you have worked with Reach, what have been your highlights?

I have been with Reach for over 5 years so there are many highlights - I started volunteering for Reach as part of the meet and greet team. After two years of meet and greet I then became a general adviser, and in 2014 I got involved in debt work.

Lesley Ashford Smithsmall

 

I suppose my highlights are seeing clients with success stories – clients that have come in for help and they have finally been lifted out of poverty and are in a better position with not just their financial situation but with their well-being as well.

 

I love it when I reach a point with my clients where they remember who I am and refer to me by name and follow it with a smile.  This is when I know I have gained their trust and know that we will be making progress with their case.

 

On a personal level, I have grown in faith and have a closer relationship with God.  I have learnt to look at myself, learnt how the cogs work in running a charity, learnt how to work within a team and have made some amazing friends that I hope I can keep in touch with.

 

What have you enjoyed the most?

1. I have loved the experience of working with the community and with people who are in distress - It saddens and angers me when I hear stories of injustice and unfairness.  When I see a client who is crying in utter despair, I get fired up and will always try to get to the root of the problem; this is when the phone calling and the letter writing to creditors, housing, enforcement agencies etc. start and I won’t stop unless the client asks me to stop.  I would often engage the team as well to help with the case.
I thank God for the provision he has given me, to be strong, to have wisdom and courage to forge ahead for our clients.  I simply want to fight for injustice in people’s lives and to share God’s love.

2. Managing the debt project and watching it grow.  I love it when I close a case because it means the clients are either debt free or are able to manage their finance due to re-educating them with spending and budgeting. It is an amazing feeling to see the relief on their faces when I tell them the good news.

 

What will you miss?

Nothing hahahahaha – No, I will miss the friends I have made and River of Life Community Church.
Workwise, I will miss working with the public.  It is not just about advising but more about befriending and letting them know that we are here for them, loving them, being firm, fair and strong for them.  I will miss the laughter’s that I have had with the team and with the clients.

 

What are you looking forward to in the future?

I am looking forward to a new start in my new hometown! I have learnt many skills while at Reach so I would like to make use of them.
To be back in the community, helping to restore dignity and to revive hope, to lift people out of poverty in every way, be it financially, well-being, health or spiritually. (I sound like Henry now hahaha) However, I would like to take a few months break and use the time to source what is out there and where God wants to plant me.

 


 

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