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 volunteer 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 benefit 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 The 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