Yesterday on 22nd August 2022 we said goodbye to wonderful lady who was part of Jimmy’s for many years.
Many people knew Jacqui O’Doherty, she volunteered at Jimmy’s for twenty years as our cook, coming in 365 days a year cooking a three-course meal for the Cambridge homeless community who had been resident at Jimmy’s with only one day off sick (when she was forced to go home). Jacqui fed approximately 6,000 people since volunteering at Jimmy’s. This includes a 3-course meal every evening, with soup to start, main course which could be her homemade curry or lasagne which the residents loved, to her Sunday roasts which she did every week. She also did a homemade dessert every evening and a full Christmas dinner every year as well with all the trimmings.
Jacqui worked many years when we were just a night shelter and then transitioned across to our new building when we became a 24 hour service in 2012. She was known as one of Jimmy’s legends and because of this our dining area / main lounge is therefore named after her and is known as the “O’Doherty Lounge”.
The amount of time and dedication Jacqui gave to Jimmy’s has and continues to have a massive impact on Jimmy’s and all who knew her. It isn’t only that she believed in the cause, but for the residents coming in and seeing her every day she built up many relationships with residents over the years, seeing the time she took out her daily family life to provide their meals every single day to residents it shows how much one person truly cares.
Very few people would come in and give the amount of time and commitment that Jacqui gave on a voluntary basis, we will forever remember her dedication and her love over the years.