Old Citizen Aleem Wallani (-1995) volunteers for Crisis over Christmas


10 October 2018

After leaving CLS in 1995 and going on to complete a degree in International Marketing Management, Aleem now works in the Finance industry and actively recruits his colleagues to provide voluntary CV and interview training to homeless people as part of a two-day Employment Platform.

Aleem took part in the Community Service programme during his time at CLS and was inspired to keep his efforts going. Aleem has said, “I learned from my time at City that we all have a responsibility to give back to society. I think you appreciate this fact as you get older and as you learn how critical a support network – family, friends and colleagues - can be.”

Reflecting on his time at CLS, Aleem remembers his first day as “A combination of pure fear and excitement, fear of being out of my depth having come from a 100 pupil prep school into the vastness of CLS and excitement at the independence of being able to come into the buzz of the City every day.” He soon settled in and was quick to develop his character and values of which he credits and thanks his teachers for: “Mr Reddit who instilled ambition and a healthy dose of the reality of the outside world during A Level economics; Mr Baglin who encouraged me to push my limits; my form tutor Mr Reardon who taught me to take ownership of issues and the importance of being courteous.”

As one of the Key Christmas Volunteers at the Winter Rough Sleepers Centre, Aleem started to help Crisis after his experiences of walking past the rough sleepers on the riverfront between CLS and Blackfriars station on his way to School.

We asked Aleem what makes Crisis so special and he said: “Crisis does a tremendous amount of work all year round to help individuals who are or have been homeless by providing support, advice and training and transforms people’s lives. One year, I was speaking to a former rough sleeper who ended up sleeping on the streets for over 2 decades. He contacted Crisis and within a week over Christmas, they managed to secure permanent accommodation for him. As he recounted his story, I couldn’t help wondering if he was one of the individuals who spurred me into volunteering as his ‘patch’ was next to Blackfriars station. I can guarantee that the experience will make you appreciate how fortunate we are to be part of a community like CLS.”