My part in creating change
We chatted to Etienne Duval, Borderline supporter, about his passion for the charity's work and why he felt compelled to leave a gift in his Will. Why did you first start supporting Borderline? Being comfortably housed, I have long been aware of how lucky someone in my position is. Borderline is the only charity specifically set up to support homeless Scots in London. I am part-Scottish, I also came to London as an outsider, and that helps me identify with people who have been a lot less fortunate than me. Why are you so passionate about the work Borderline does? I find Borderline to be both very important and very efficient. It is a small charity doing a vital job. Having been associated with it for some years now, I have seen for myself how it can change lives radically. Borderline is able to do that both because it is connected to a network of other charities and organisations, and because of the quality of the people who work there. It is not easy helping people off the streets. People who are homeless are in deep crisis. Borderline’s outreach workers need patience, empathy, realism and dedication to offer effective support to people who often have been badly let down. They are backed up by a very good team of caseworkers who ensure that a client has the best chance to settle into a new life. It doesn’t work every time. But when it does, the change is spectacular and humbling. How has supporting the cause impacted your life? It has given me an opportunity to do something concrete, and play a very small part in supporting people we all see every day in the streets, and whose desperate situation often makes us feel powerless to help. What inspired you to leave a gift in your Will? An awareness of my privileged position. But before I took that step, I needed to overcome a reluctance to think about my own mortality.