A DIFFERENT ANGLE...
...on the Community Fridge this morning.
We were so busy at the Community Fridge this morning that I didn’t take any photographs of the produce or people working before the doors actually opened. When I arrived, having remembered to pick up Dianne, we walked into the kitchen to find the tables piled high with bags of cakes, croissants, potatoes and tomatoes (which are like gold dust at the moment), boxes of teabags and packs of cat and dog food - so we just set to and began either bagging up the items or sorting them out. For once, I didn’t get the job of sorting the tomatoes, some of which were only fit for the compost heap - and I may have mentioned that we have a lovely lady named Ruth, who takes sackfuls of the produce that is not suitable for customers, and puts them in her compost heap - I really must ask her how big this is, because judging by some of the sackfuls she takes, it must be huge!
Once we had prayed - as we always do before we open - I went for a wander around in the hall, as we had several agencies in this morning. One was a display regarding Gamblers Anonymous, which featured a couple of weeks ago, and which gave details of how the organisation works and how to get in touch with them.
At the top right is a shot of the ladies who are part of Healthwatch Swindon and Heather, the Stepping Stones Lead Co-ordinator. Their leaflet says they are “Your Health and Social care Champion”, and the leaflet states that “Healthwatch Swindon makes sure that NHS leaders and other decision makers hear your voice and use your feedback to improve care.” Today the ladies who were there went round to the various tables encouraging people to fill in a form, following which this would be entered into a competition to win £100 worth of Asda vouchers - not to be sneezed at in this present economic climate. Another interesting point is that the lady who is now the Manager of Healthwatch Swindon, is the wife of our dentist, who was a Dental Nurse at the Practice for many years. Although she recognised me, at first I didn’t recognise her - well she didn’t have her nurse’s uniform on - that’s my excuse! It was lovely to see her again and I told her that we love having her “ladies” in at the Community Fridge and look forward to seeing them.
At the top left is a display from Swindon Citizens Advice, an organisation that provides free, confidential and impartial advice and campaigns on his issues affecting people's lives. Often people stop on their way into the café to chat to the lady who looks after this table. She is very helpful - and has a lovely smile - but is a little shy, so wasn’t really keen to have her photograph taken, but relented in the end.
The bottom shot shows Heather, with some of the Firefighters from the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, who were there this morning to offer a “Free Safe and Well Visit” to people’s homes to discuss fire risks and offer advice abut safety and wellbeing. At the same time, they will also discuss escape plans and fit FREE smoke and heat detectors if homes require them. They were happy to pose for this shot and I did ask them if they would hold Heather horizontally, but as you may imagine, she soon nipped that idea in the bud, so I had to make do with this shot - shame really as that would have made a great shot!
All in all a great morning once again, also with several volunteers from our Church who came in to chat to those making use of the facilities at the Community Café - and there was a lovely buzz of conversation .
You may remember that when I worked at the Radio Station a couple of years ago, I recorded “My Street Challenge” which then went out on the radio. Having given a copy of this to one of the men who comes in on a regular basis and who is interested in Family History Research, we chatted for a while. I happened to say that I was still finding it difficult to find out more about my Grandmother, who used to live in the street adjacent to the Church whereupon he said that he went to school with a lad who lived in that street, and you won’t believe that it was my cousin - what a small world! I am going to look out some more information and speak to him again the next time I see him.
“Give to the world the best you have,
and the best will come back to you.”
Another great quote that I thought was particularly applicable to our Church and what it does within the community, including packing the many Bags of Hope that are distributed each week to those families who are struggling due to the present economic situation:
“There is no power for change
greater than a community
it cares about.”
Margaret J. Wheatley