In and Out of The Well

The other day Mrs Ahmed was in The Well (almost a daily occurrence!) She was in very good form – which we were all very pleased to see – for a few months, she seemed to be carrying extra burdens, which now seem to be lifted.

Ms Benocova came in – she’s been coming regularly for several years now, each of the staff got a hug from her, and then she turned and hugged Mrs Ahmed! I was so chuffed! A Pakistani and Slovakian woman giving each other a hug.  If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I’m not sure I would have believed it.  It really was a very special moment, and all the years of working at building relationships not just between the staff and our service users, but trying to provide an environment where those from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures could get to know each other was finally paying off!

At our prayer time this morning  Sarah prayed for an Afghan man that she had helped last week, and Vivien mentioned “last week when I took Mrs Ahktar home . . .”  I was reminded of the privilege that is ours to pray for by name people from all over the world. Dougie went further and said he loved being able to call people from so many parts of the world “friend”.    It also made me grateful for the volunteer staff that give so much to The Well, and its service users.  Not just the shifts they do, but regularly going the second mile for their new friends. Volunteer staff who give people lifts, or make home visits, or follow up with phone calls, or email me to ask about how someone is.

As ever we are looking for more people to join our Volunteer Staff team. Would you consider it? Sometimes when people first start, they feel a bit daunted – but with support and training they quickly realise that being in The Well gives them back so much more than they could ever imagine. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.

I really admire Gail for being willing to give the fundraising role a go, but Gail found that filling in application forms was just not for her – we’re delighted that we will continue to benefit from Gail’s commitment and many talents as she continues on the volunteer staff team.

We are now looking at building a team of people to do the fundraising – both grant applications, followup and other fundraising activities.  Maybe this is a way you could help us?

I’m in the process of registering The Well with “Give as you live” – I’ll let you know as soon as it’s live, an easy to support The Well if you do online shopping.

 

 

Chai & Chat

The Well Craft Group has been a fixture for many a year.  This group for women only – sorry guys – has seen us have much fun together, as well as produce some lovely items for both personal use and selling over the years. Some women come to use the sewing machineswhile others prefer to learn some new craft activity.  I felt very honoured to help one friend as she made clothes for herself and her family who were going on Hajj one year!!

Last month we decided to make a little bit of a change – and to rename the group  Chai & Chat.  ‘Chai’ is tea as far as our  South Asian, some Middle Eastern and our Slovak friends are concerned and is a seriously important component to socialising and relationship building. We are told regularly  it’s the chance to get to know women from different parts of the world and different faith backgrounds that make this get together on a Tuesday afternoons (1-2.45pm) so enjoyable.

The group is open to any woman, from any background. We nearly always have cake  🙂 and a craft activity of some sort to enjoy together. Please join us!

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Stonelaw Church Coffee Morning 7th May – An Invitation

We are delighted that the National Mission Team at Stonelaw Church (stonelawchurch.org) are hosting a Coffee Morning  in support of The Well this coming Saturday 7th May.  We’re looking forward to meeting some old friends – as well as making some  new ones!! This is a great opportunity to catch up on the latest from The Well and meet some of the team who will be there on the morning!

Where: Stonelaw Church,  2 Dryburgh Avenue,  Rutherglen,               G73 3EG

When: Saturday 7th May 2016, 10.30am-12.30pm

 

Two are better than one

I’m sitting here feeling quite chuffed with myself because I have actually manged to access this blog page without having to ask anyone for help!!

However, at least part of the reason I am sitting here typing away this particular afternoon is that I know  my colleague, Gail is around and I can ask  her for help if I need it. (She’s clever with IT, computers and stuff like that!!)

Throughout today well over 30 other individuals have come into The Well knowing that help and support is available for them too.

There’s the woman who is  looking for her own place to stay now that a firm job offer has been made. She makes good use of the   computer suite as she would not be able to access the internet easily otherwise. She accepts a cup of tea happily when offered, and then gets back to work on the computer.

A family want to clarify a couple of things on a form they need to complete. It’s a large document and lots of jargon needs to be deciphered. Their limited English means they are finding it a struggle. We are able to phone someone we know who can translate for us which makes all the difference.

Yesterday afternoon a few of us got together over some samosa and tea.  We had a useful discussion around how we might develop the women’s Craft Group. ( More about that soon!) Suffice it to say that over the following couple of hours craft activities for the next few weeks had been sorted – thanks Heather and Jan –  and Gail had come up with a beautiful new design for an invitation postcard we will use as invitations  to the group.

It’s great when you know there’s someone or somewhere that you can turn to and find genuine support –  and it’s the commitment of each of the Well team, combined with a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience that makes so much of what we do on a day to day basis possible.

One of the Wisdom books put it so well:

    Two are better than one,
     because they have a good return for their labour:
      If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.

Hello… See you later . . .

Hello and welcome to Gail.

IMG_1323Gail joined the team in the middle of February both as a volunteer and as our part-time fundraiser.  I’ll let her tell you a wee bit about herself:

“I’ve recently returned to live in the Glasgow area having previously lived in the Scottish Borders. I’ve worked overseas in the past and love cross-cultural contact. I’d already intended to volunteer with The Well (which I do twice a week) and when the vacant post of Fundraiser was made known, I applied. It’s a completely new role for me so I’m trusting God to help me and bless the work I do. My daughter and son-in-law live in Glasgow and I’m enjoying being nearer to them and my 2-year old granddaughter.”

Gail has just completed 5 weeks training on fundraising and is keen to get started in her new job.

Welcome to the team Gail!

See you later . . . 

I have been the manager of The Well for 13½ years. (Surely that can’t be right!) In October last year the Board agreed that I should have a sabbatical this year. This has been arranged and I will finish in The Well on the 16th March and return on the 5th July.  I will go to the Middle East and spend most of the time there.

Whilst I am away Penny will be the acting manager and several of the volunteers have agreed to take on extra responsibilities.

 

A very special visit

3-ministersWe have been privileged to  have been friends with The Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison – Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for many years.  We weGroup-1re delighted when he contacted us at Christmas time and said he would love to visit.

So we arranged for him and his wife Marion to visit The Well this morning.  It was special have some of the local Church and Mosque leaders join with us for the visit.

Just before 1Kenny-&-Angus2.00, the door opened and a long time friend of The Well came.  She wanted to share some good news with us and we were all able to rejoice with her that having waited for many years, she and her family could finally call Scotland home.Penny-&-Marion

We went from The Well to the Grace & Flavour Cafe, part of the Queen’s Park Govanhill Parish Church building on Daisy St.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thank you Angus & Marion for coming to visit, and for the lovely celtic cross you gave us – we look forward to finding the right place for it to hang with pride in the office.

February Update

Sometimes I can hardly believe that it’s a year since The Well faced its toughest challenge to date, and yet here we are at the start of another year, having experienced God’s faithfulness and provision and your encouragement.

My mum has a great expression “God hates waste, and He doesn’t waste anything.” This past year has certainly not been wasted as we have learnt afresh what it means to trust God.

Our financial position is much healthier than it was a year ago, and whilst we will never be flush, at least we can make plans to continue developing the work.

From April this year Penny MacLeod will take over as Depute Manager of The Well, she will continue her role in Bubbles – the Mother & Toddler group, and heading up the Craft group. But for a long time it has been obvious that The Well needs to have a second person to share the load of management.

This change has created a vacancy for a fund raiser, and we are delighted that we have someone who is willing to be trained in this role. Once things are finalized I will give you more information.

I have been the manager of The Well since August 2002, and have seen phenomenal growth in the numbers and diversity of folks using The Well. (Right now behind me, Vivien is speaking to someone in Romanian, there’s a Pilipino women in the reception area, and we’ve already helped Indian, Pakistani, Moroccan, Iranian, Afghanian and Slovakian today!)

We are seeing a change in the demographics of those using The Well, most of our Slovakian service users have moved away, and now we are seeing more Romanians!

We’ve not yet got the final stats for the year, but once again we are looking at around 970 service users across all activities, using The Well and other groups about 7500 times.

We’ve recently welcomed Gail, Elizabeth & Heather to the volunteer team, and our Monday openings will restart this coming Monday. (We spent January doing training, and this Monday had to be cancelled due to the weather.)

I am very grateful that the Board agreed that I should have a Sabbatical this year, and so after my holidays at the end of March, I plan to be on sabbatical from 1st April until 30th June. I am hoping to be able to do some language and cultural study in the Middle East, providing I can get my visa! I would appreciate prayer for that!

EllenIn our last news letter we introduced Ellen. For me it’s been thrilling to see how God has always provided the right person for us. When Margaret Menzies retired we had no idea how we would replace someone who fitted so well into the family here. God gave us Christine! Christine was very different to Margaret and brought a whole different set of skills, but equally fitted into our family very quickly. When Christine was returning to Australia, we once again thought “how are we going to replace Christine?” It’s obvious God has once again been a step ahead of us, and given us Ellen. Ellen is already very much at home here, and making the job her own. It just feels like the family keeps on growing.

Another part of the work which is developing is our Cross Cultural Awareness Training. Here’s some comments from recent courses:

“It’s difficult to get my head around the honour /shame culture and all the implications of that – but it’s been great to have been made more aware.”

“It was powerful how you showed that Jesus balanced perfectly honour and truth. Thanks for that.”

The English Classes are as busy and popular as ever, and once again God has provided great teachers.

We do need someone to help out at our Craft Group on a Tuesday afternoon – maybe you know a woman who would like to be involved in that?

As ever we are very grateful for your prayers and support which make this work possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser Needed

We are looking for a part time fundraiser to join the team here at The Well.

This job will be mostly based at home, but we want someone who has a passion for the work that The Well does, and the community it serves.

If you might be that person – or know that person, ask them to get in touch.

We would hope the person will be in place by March 2016.

Please see the attached flyer.

 

Fundraiser Job Advert 2016

Vacancies at The Well

Bubbles 

We are delighted that we have once again been awarded Funding from BBC Children in Need for our Bubbles Mother & Toddler Group.  Penny & Christine have been running it for the past few years, but since Christine is returning to Australia in January, we now have a vacancy for a Sessional Worker in Bubbles for up to 5 hours per week (term time.)    If you might be interested in this position please email info@thewell.org.uk, marking for the attention of Penny.

Fundraiser

At the last Board Meeting it was agreed that we should appoint a Fundraiser for The Well.  This will be a part time post (2 days per week), and the main work will be identifying and applying for trust funding – including reporting back to successful applications.  The successful applicant will have flexible working times and be based both in The Well and from home.  Interested?  Please email info@thewell.org.uk and mark for the attention of Rhoda.

 

All Change

Nothing in The Well ever stays the same for very long.  About a month ago we welcomed Rachel, Jeff & Nicole to the volunteer team. The next week Alastair told us that he would be moving to England to be closer to his daughter.

At the same time Christine confirmed that she and Brian would be returning to live in Australia in January 2016. (I’m sure it’s absolutely nothing to do with the weather here – they will be moving to the sunshine coast . . . )  We will miss Christine so much – not just as our Admin Worker, but also for the work she does with Bubbles (our mother and toddler group) and our Craft group.

Faye also finished in October and her baby boy  – Aidan Mehrgan – was born on the 29th October. We will miss Faye very much – she covered a lot of shifts for us, and we wish her, Andrew and baby Aidan every blessing, as they settle into family life.

Tonight for the first time we will be opening in the evenings – this pilot has come about as several people who work have said they would like to help out at The Well, but they work and can’t commit to during the day.  We have no idea how this will go, but it’s good to have a team in place to try this out.

 

 

A friendly, drop-in service for the Multi-Cultural communities of SE Glasgow.

The Well Multi-Cultural Resource Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in Scotland (SC398700). Registered Office is 42-44 Albert Road, Glasgow G42 8DN. Registered as a Scottish Charity Number: SC042300