We do love our statistics at The Well. It would be easy to tell you that the office was bursting at the seams with 91 people inside, but it’s much more illuminating to know the kind of people who were interested enough in The Well to give up their time on a Wednesday morning to join our 20th Anniversary celebrations. So here goes, there were:
27 Clients: Some of them didn’t know we were having a party; they had arrived to use our services. We assured them that we would be open in the afternoon for business as usual, so they stayed to join in the fun.
28 Representatives from other organisations: We were delighted to welcome people from a broad spectrum of partner organisations. To give you just a flavour, we had ladies from the local Foodbank, lawyers from Govanhill Law Centre, workers with the Reach Community Health Project and even a gentleman from the DWP!
12 representatives from churches: We enjoyed meeting people from a number of local churches – and even a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland!
24 Volunteers, ex volunteers and their spouses: It was no surprise that the three volunteers who have worked at The Well for the last 20 years were in the thick of it; making tea, serving cake, doing dishes. Nancy, Lesley and Lexa – thank you for all your hard work and dedication. It was also lovely to welcome back some ex volunteers and many old friendships were re-kindled. Some long-suffering spouses were also present, having doubtless provided support to their partners over many years.
And so our third birthday cake was cut and speeches were made. First to speak was Drew Pryde, who as Community Race Relations Officer for the area had spent many hours in The Well, providing help and support to clients and volunteers alike. Drew commended the work of The Well and told of the benefits he personally gained from the time he had spent there.
Next came Sunny Kang from Positive Action in Housing, who has a weekly half-day surgery in The Well. It appears that Sunny also provides a lot of additional benefits to The Well, like advice and translation services. The story was told of the time when his Mum sent him out to buy chicken. As he was passing The Well, he popped in to say hello. He left two-and-a-half hours later, having been happy to lend a hand with a few problems that had arisen. We didn’t hear what his mother’s reaction was when he finally arrived back with the chicken!
More praise came from others who spoke, including Donna Morgan from Govanhill Law Centre, who also holds a weekly surgery in The Well and Liann Weir from the Crossreach Daisy Chain Early Years Project.
Finally, Uzma Whitlock, who has been a client of The Well over the last fourteen years spoke of the comfort it had brought to her to know that The Well was always there to help, no matter the kind of problem she had. What a fantastic testimony to the hard work of the staff and volunteers.
It’s often said that The Well is a like a family; providing warmth and comfort, and solutions to problems. This party certainly felt like a family gathering; a celebration of 20 years spent, working hard, with the ups and downs that family life brings. As one gentleman from a government organisation said, “This feels like a special place”. And surely it is.