Mary found a sense of community and mutual support at Archway:

“I’m a member of St. Columba’s Church [where Archway’s Wednesday Welcome is held]. Two years ago there was an announcement in church that Wednesday Welcome was going to be on Boxing Day and I decided I’d go along. I really liked the atmosphere; it was so welcoming that I decided to come regularly.

“Archway is a community. One of the things that particularly struck me was – after I’d been in hospital, a few months ago – one of the regulars at Wednesday Welcome, just as we were leaving, gave me a word of comfort and support that showed that she actually understands my circumstances. She’s had her own hardships, but she was thinking of me and thinking of encouraging me. It’s that sort of a community.

“There are a lot of people here who’ve had some bad times, and if other people are having bad times then they can feel for them. And we’re not talking ‘staff’ and ‘clients’ – we’re just talking friends.”