Wow, that was a full on session. We had 54 people in this evening plus two people who chose not to come inside. Cath said we beat the record for the number of people who came in within the first ten minutes. Thirty four. We were staggered.
On The Menu
Jan cooked sausage pasta, bread and butter pudding with custard. Apparently also this evening hot dogs were very popular again. Requests for hot dogs had wained a bit, but maybe it’s due to the weather getting colder that it is increasing again.
Inspector Mark Tucker from Newbury police station donated some tinned food, cereal and rolls left over from a trip he organised for some cadets to the Lake District. Sue and her work colleague Phil delivered them this evening. It promotes the Soup Kitchen and helps build relationships with the police. We are so pleased to have strong relations with the police through the ranks. We appreciate their support and interest in the Soup Kitchen and the welfare of the rough sleepers and homeless.
Trust Needs To Be Earned
Two of our ex-rough sleepers who are now in accommodation came over this evening. However, this week they chose not to come inside as they wanted to stay outside and have a cuppa. One said he heard it was too busy and he couldn’t face the session noise this evening. He seemed a little low we thought.
The second is worried that professional volunteers are going to quiz him and ask too many questions. He does not trust professionals. He is suspicious of anyone with a profession in psychology or counselling.
It is very common that regular visitors to the Soup Kitchen are sometimes untrusting. We work over months and months to gain a little trust. It is wonderful if we manage to build on stronger trust than that. It is not unusual for people to have lived through “the system” from childhood or adolescence. They feel often misled or unheard. If family and the people closest to them have let them down, it takes a long time to trust anyone again, let alone a volunteer. We pride ourselves on the relationships we have built with many clients. We are now starting to get peer to peer volunteers and ex-users of the Soup Kitchen asking to volunteer. We are very proud of the progress and successes people have made.
Progress Is Being Made
One of our regular guests to the Soup Kitchen came in this evening towards the end and very drunk. In the past, we have seen this person much worse. This person had fallen and hit their cheek. It was very swollen but not bleeding. Treatment of any kind was refused. This person was more interested in telling Meryl that they had been on their script now for nine days, this is a huge success. This is a big change from six months or so ago when this person turned up with cut wrists and always under the influence of so many things and talking about suicide. We are so pleased with their progress.
Rough Sleepers In Newbury
Well you have got to try haven’t youHe didn’t seem to remember his last session with us, it wasn’t good and he became very verbally aggressive outside. He is not allowed in very drunk as he can become a handful. It is so difficult for some people. Addictions are so deep-rooted, they are mixed with terrible emotions, memories and experience.
Hospital Releases An Issue
Small Steps, Big Achievements
A volunteer did mention to Meryl what the Soup Kitchen does achieve. Ditto, other peers in meetings have for example have accused Meryl of creating one big sticking plaster for the homeless situation. We do not know what the real answer is. What we all do know however, is to see the huge excitement of anyone who is making some life-changing decisions brings a smile to our face.
This week by example, someone who has been homeless for 2.5 years, who has faced some of their biggest fears, who has made some difficult and scary (for them) decisions recently so that they can do something that they know they need to improve their lives and future options is emotional.
Again, someone moving into a hostel, even though they have had bad experiences in similar facilities in the past. Someone being on their script now for nine days. Someone working hard on a new venture when everything in life seems to be against them. A person who manages to come into the Soup Kitchen sober, someone who has not drunk all afternoon so they can fill out some necessary forms. And finally, the above lovely card for all of us this evening.
These may be small steps for us, but they are enormous acts to each and every one of our clients. Sticking plaster or not, we cannot help everyone, but we have a damn good go. Again, this evening was a session which was at times overwhelming, very tiring, frustrating and often made us feel hopeless. We know we are doing our best to do a good job with the tools we have.
Mobile Phone Appeal Needs A Boost
Disappointingly, we have only received one mobile telephone from last week’s appeal. We ask that if you have any telephones and chargers rumbling around at home, please can you donate them to us.
Zombie Fun Run
We are extremely humbled to announce that a wonderful lady, Ava Lynch is going to put herself out of her comfort zone to do a Zombie Fun Run on 27th October at Newbury Show Ground and raise money for the Soup Kitchen.
She is an inexperienced runner and will be running the 5KM course of inflatable obstacles and of course, Zombies! A little like tag rugby, runners are set off every 15 minutes with Zombies pulling off your tags to infect you.
Please sponsor and support her as all funds will be used to help our local rough sleepers and homeless.