Lee-Anne Nisbet’s journey into volunteering with HBNC’s Comfort Kitchen began in December of 2017, prompted by a conversation at a work Christmas function. As Lee-Anne recalls, “What an awesome program was my first thought. Giving people who otherwise would not be able to afford or have company to attend a sit-down 3-course meal was inspiring.”

For the past six years, Lee-Anne has dedicated herself to serving meals and providing support to those in need through Comfort Kitchen. Her involvement stems from a deep-seated belief in the importance of compassion and empathy. “It brings me joy to give others joy,” she explains.

In her time volunteering, Lee-Anne has had countless memorable experiences. “Every week is memorable to me, and people never cease to amaze me both positively and negatively,” she shares. She treasures the opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, offering a listening ear and a warm meal to those who need it most.

One particular aspect of her volunteer work that stands out to Lee-Anne is the compassion she witnesses among Comfort Kitchen patrons. “So many of our customers come from a place of deep pain and dysfunction, and being able to just be there to support, listen, and give a tiny bit of joy in their lives makes me feel like I am making a difference to someone,” she reflects.

“I try to keep track of their birthdays (they often mention to me it is coming up) and I will get a cupcake from the freezer and have the other volunteers help me sing happy birthday. For some of our lonely souls this is the only celebration of their birthday they get.”

Lee-Anne’s advice to aspiring volunteers is to “have a go, stick it out, and listen and learn.” She emphasises the importance of approaching volunteering with an open heart and a willingness to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

Lee-Anne Nisbet’s dedication to Comfort Kitchen is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and community. Through her selfless service, she embodies the spirit of kindness and generosity, leaving a positive impact on all those she encounters. As she aptly puts it, “I do hope that I have made a positive impression by making our customers feel heard and seen. This is all any of us hope for.”