Bunting, balloons, beads – and the occasional burst of bedlam. This is the best way to sum up an event which involved 53 women, 24 babies and children and ten Well staff / volunteers! All squeezed in to the tiny premises that The Well currently calls home.
We had all gathered to celebrate the Well’s 20th birthday, and naturally there was party food; from traditional Asian sweet rice to sweet pastries brought by one of the ladies from Somalia, with some good Scottish traybakes, just in case anyone was suffering from a sugar dip! All washed down with fragrant chai, tea, coffee or fruit juice. Of course, we sang ‘Happy Birthday to Us’ (well most of us did) and enjoyed the second of this week’s birthday cakes.
But who were these 53 women and their children? Many nationalities were represented: Somalian, Slovakian, Indian, Pakistani to name but a few. Some of them regularly attend The Well’s Women’s Craft Group on a Tuesday afternoon. They were joined by many of the Mums who go to Bubbles, the Mother and Toddler’s group organised and staffed by The Well, held in Govanhill Free Church. And then there were ladies who have visited The Well for advice and information. All with one thing in common; gratitude to the people of The Well for everything they do – including holding a birthday party on a wet Tuesday afternoon!
There were no party games as such – but lots of fun. Some of the usual crafts were available; so many Mums (and Grans) enjoyed making jewellery, paper flowers and decorations. Rhoda’s office was turned into a children’s play area, and Jaan, one of the volunteers, applied nail polish to all who felt like a beauty treat.
By the way, the jewellery making was where the bedlam took place. Having strung 40-50 beads to make a necklace, one of the ladies passed her creation to a volunteer to ensure it was long enough. Unfortunately, one end was dropped and the beads scattered across the floor, causing great hilarity all round. This was one of many moments when language skills were not required – smiles and laughter are universal. It is obvious that The Well provides a safe, happy environment where women can come together and relax with other women just like them – they just happen to be from all over the world. It was a real privilege to share some time with them today.