All posts by Rhoda

I, Daniel Blake

Next week our volunteers will be watching the film “I, Daniel Blake” as part of their training for the work in The Well.  If you’ve not seen it, then I encourage you to watch it.

The harsh reality of sanctions and dealing with a system, which by its nature forces people into poverty, with little chance of escape is dealt with very powerfully in the film.

Kirsty has been working with us for the past couple of months and as she won’t be here next Friday, she watched it herself with her family – you can read what she thought of it  in our June newsletter. As Kirsty says it should be compulsory viewing for everyone!

 

 

 

Admin Worker

EllenFor the past 15 months we have been blessed to have had Ellen Cooke seconded from Interserve Scotland and Ireland, to help with our admin work in The Well.

As Ellen’s role in Interserve will come to an end with Interserve Scotland and Ireland merge their England and Wales counterparts to form Insterserve GBI, Ellen’s job will come to an end, and with her own family commitments she will no longer be able to work with us.

So! From the 1st May we are looking to recruit a part time admin worker.  Our admin post is a unique role!(The Well is a unique place!) It doesn’t easily fit into the traditional admin type of work – that is included of course, but there’s more to it than that, it has been described as a “very bitsy role” from ensuring the rota is covered for every shift, to making posters, from writing thank you letters to giving a listening ear to volunteers. (That just happens!)  The person will be an important member of the team of paid and volunteer staff, based in The Well.

Any interested person can request further information from Rhoda at The Well and should contact rho.yar@thewell.org.uk to request the job description and further information.  Application will be by  CV and a task to be submitted by 5:00 on Monday 3rd April.

Lunch at The Space

We work in close partnership with The Space in Govanhill.  A local organisation who do a fantastic work with Romanian Roma Families in the area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Group
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
“What I bring to Govanhill”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Food!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Building Friendships
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Stamping the value

Recently Ailie from the People’s Bank of Govanhill asked if we would be willing to have a lunch for women in Govanhill,  bringing together women from The Well and The Space.  We were delighted to be a part of this.  As The Well is so small, we were grateful to The Space for hosting the event.

 

Here’s a video that was made on the day.

 

We need people!

The Well depends on volunteers to function.  I’m always encouraged with the sheer quality and commitment of our volunteers – they truly are a very special group of people.

However we need more!

We currently have gaps on both Wednesday morning and afternoon for the regular advice sessions.

Perhaps you would be interested in helping out by being a welcomer in the reception area?  We also need this help on a Wednesday.

If you can help out with any of the above – please get in touch.

 

 

From there to here . . . .

MapAs part of our development we’ve had a look at where our service users come from, the journeys they’ve taken, the churches that we have links with, and the partner organisations that we work with.

 

All of us who took part in the exercise found it encouraging, challenging and really quite amazing to see that so many from all over the world have come from there to here, and found a welcome in The Well.

 

 

Lunch time

imgres-1Ever since I’ve been involved with The Well we’ve never closed for lunch.  It was often quiet enough for folks to have their lunch together, have a blether and change shifts.

I remember those days!

In recent years The Well has become so busy that there times the volunteers never see each other, perhaps the morning staff work well into the afternoon, and some have been seen sitting down for something to eat at 2.00  or even later.

We’ve all just got used to this way of working, but since The Well is about community and fellowship for the whole team, we’re going to try things differently for the next few weeks!

From today we will close at 12:30, the afternoon folks will come and join us for our prayer time and have lunch together for those who want.  Initially this will be just for 1/2 hour, but who knows we might love it so much that we need to have longer.

Hopefully our service users will also benefit from a staff team who are more refreshed!

 

Partnership and Communication Worker

penny-sarahA few weeks ago I got a message from a friend that I’ve known for many years.  Sarah enquired about The Well and how things were going.  She has a marketing background, and as we talked the idea of Sarah working alongside Penny became a possibility which then became a reality two weeks later!

We’re delighted that Sarah has joined our team – 7 hours a week.  She brings additional expertise and enthusiasm to team, and we are thrilled that she wants to use her God given gifts and be a part of what He is doing in and through The Well.

Sarah has come in on Monday evenings, so she can experience first hand the work that goes on here.  She was thrilled on her first Monday to be able to tell one of our service users that he was due a tax rebate of over £200! Nice way to start:)

Sarah spent part of her childhood in Thailand, where her parents were missionaries & she brings an understanding of cross-cultural relationships with her.  She is married with two young children.

Every so often I have reason to reflect on the great bunch of volunteers we have here – this morning Joyce popped in.  I said “Are you Jaan today?”  She said “No, I’m just dropping this file in.”  She had taken someone’s file away to put together a summary of his case for him to take to his MP.  The summary has run to 5 pages of bullet points!  It must have taken her hours and I’ve no doubt that Mr Waheed will be be very grateful.  I know that several of our volunteers have done such things for people in the past, regularly going the second mile – determined to follow up and do their best for folks.  Well done team!

 

 

“I’ve got you . . .”

Last week I received a phone call, I instantly knew the voice, but I couldn’t name the person. She asked if she could come into see us, she needed some advice.  I asked what sort of advice, and she said “Personal”.  I told her our opening times, and suggested she ask for me – Rhoda.  She said “Oh Rhoda, thank God you are still there, you helped me 12 years ago!”

When she did  get in to see me we had a lot of catching up to do, her family has grown, her faith is much more important to her, she’s been busy!

She listed the huge support network that others have, and then in the next breath said “and I’ve got you”!  I laughed – not sure whether I’d just been complimented or insulted! She realised how it sounded, and immediately reassured me that it was a compliment, and having The Well was the best support possible!

But isn’t it great?! That after 12 years she knew where to turn to get help. That because we are still here she could say “I’ve got you” and know it to be true.

 

Everything changes . . . everything stays the same

The Well is always changing and adapting to the needs and challenges of our service users.  We’ve seen a change in the demographics of Govanhill, and this has been reflected in the folks who come to The Well.  When I first started as a volunteeGovanhill Collager back in 1998(!) the majority of our service users came from Pakistan – about 85%!  As Mary says now “the whole world is here.”

Up until early this year we had a growing number of Roma service users, but since I came back from my sabbatical, I’ve noticed a marked decline in the number of Roma using The Well.  Many have moved either to other parts of the UK (Doncaster!) or back to Slovakia.  Last week one of our regulars was telling me that he and his family are moving back – having known them for  more than10 years, I felt sad – but glad to know that we had made a difference to them, and they were keen to come and say goodbye.

In the early days of The Well we could keep a range of beneimagesfit forms in stock in The Well, now much of our work is done online and we no longer even keep forms, indeed we regularly have to ask people to go the library to have the form printed off. (91 pages for an EEA form, 4 times a day would be way beyond our printing budget!)

We still operate a drop in service, but are now piloting restricting visits to 1 hour (where possible) both for the sake of the other service users, and for the well being of the volunteer staff.

We’re still really busy! 4 people working on advice this morning and there’s a queue of 8 people!

We’re still supporting some very vulnerable people, a young single dad who has found the whole system of claiming child benefit and child tax credits quite overwhelming; a young woman with many physical, mental and emotional difficulties who on finding The Well, said she had found “Angels.”  Last week it was wonderful that a woman we had supported for at least 15 years, came back to visit us. (She lives quite far from The Well now)

We’re still dependent on individuals and churches supporting us – we have applied to various charitable trusts, but the core of our support comes from dedicated individuals & churches. Maybe you would like to support The Well, but you’ve never been in a position to do so? Well now if you shop online, then it is possible to support imagesThe Well through Give as you live. Simply register with Give as you live, nominate The Well as your chosen charity, and then go shopping from there.  You’ll see we can profit anything from 1% of your total shop.

Of course Give Net is another option to give directly to The Well!

Most importantly of all we know that the same God who was in our beginnings, is with us still and He doesn’t change.    “For I, the Lord, do not change.”  Malachi 3:6