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‘Extra mile? Dave goes the extra continent
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
DAVE Lovelock has been compared to a Canadian Mountie for his determination to help some of the most “damaged and desperate” people in South London.
He leads a team of caseworkers and volunteers at a charity’s drop-in centre, helping up to 700 “angry, confused and often suicidal homeless, addicts, offenders and ex-offenders” every year.
The people he has supported at St Giles Trust in Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell, include domestic violence victims, young men with mental health problems and elderly street drinkers with dementia.
Dave, 39, has been nominated for a Mercury Our Heroes award by staff at the charity.
The campaign highlights the achievements of South Londoners and will culminate in a gala ceremony at the South Bank headquarters of award sponsors Shell on November 15.
Rob Owen, St Giles Trust chief executive, said: “What gives Dave the edge is a genuine love for his work and his clients.
“This means he is tireless and often stays until late in the evening to help those who turn up unannounced at our offices in desperate circumstances.
“He is an amazing caseworker - unbelievably driven, diligent, humorous, patient and passionate.
“He doesn’t go the extra mile - he goes the extra continent. He’s like the old-style Canadian Mountie - he always gets his man.”
He said Dave treats the “challenging” behaviour of clients, who are often under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as a cry for help and responds with patience and good humour.
Dave said: “What we do here is very, very important and we have a team of people who give up their time to help us as volunteers. We couldn’t run it without them.
“You’re not going to get a job, benefits, or even get on to a drug treatment programme without an address.
“When I see people live the way my clients live, I’m so grateful when I get home.
Having a place to come home to is something so many of us take for granted.”
Help for clients can include sorting out birth certificates, benefits, referring clients to other charities, NHS services and liaising with council housing departments.
St Giles Trust works with offenders and ex-offenders, trying to break the cycle of offending through mentoring, training and advice.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Saturday, 25 May 2013
Other Our Heroes Awards 2011:
Sir Ray Tindle
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