Dena calls herself a ‘serial volunteer’. Within the homelessness sector she has volunteered at charities including Spires, Emmaus and St Mungo’s. She was also trained as a volunteer ‘community connector’ within the borough of Lambeth, where for three years she helped people in the community to better manage their health and well-being through signposting to relevant support services. More recently Dena worked as support worker at the Ace of Clubs day centre supporting people experiencing homelessness.
Dena joined Groundswell in April 2019 as a volunteer peer researcher, surveying people experiencing homelessness about the homeless reduction act. Following this she was key part of the ‘women, homelessness and health’ research and podcast. She says ‘listening to all the heart-breaking stories whilst doing surveys with Groundswell made me realise my passion – to be able to support people as much as I can. Having had over 14 years’ experience of homelessness and addiction I am able to draw on this to support others with understanding and empathy.’
Dena was thrilled to be offered the position of Care Navigator in early 2020. She will be working in Lambeth to support people to manage their health and well being across the borough, something Dena claims is her passion.