I feel so tired this morning but I feel happy. Last night I managed to
get in a shift at the hub and it’s so rewarding that it will keep me buzzing until the next time I go. It’s the first time I’ve been home for two weeks as I’ve been travelling with my job and spending some much needed time with my kids. The house is a mess, there’s washing everywhere, I need to get out the hoover and the grass needs cutting – it’s so easy to slip into complacency and NSNO is a constant reminder of how lucky I am to have a loving and supportive family, an amazing job and a home with some chores to do.
Within three minutes of arriving last night an American man came bounding along, with a huge smile on his face, his hand stretched to shake mine and introduced himself. As a young lad he had left the UK with his family to seek their fortunes in America. The business they started was unsuccessful and he experienced the trauma of family separation and bankruptcy before deciding to return to the UK alone. It won’t be long before NSNO help to get him on his feet and I’m convinced his positive and confident outlook will support a very successful next stage in his life.
It didn’t take me long to realise the atmosphere at the hub was different to my last several experiences. There were a huge number of clients – the most I had ever seen and it was a blessing the weather was mild as a few of them had gone out for a walk. Space is tight and it’s important that local residents are not disturbed by any noise – with the number of people waiting for help and limited space the atmosphere felt a bit twitchy with some kind of anticipation in the air. You could almost feel hope and expectations.
The office were flat out carrying out assessments as ten clients had arrived within the past 24 hours and they were working hard on writing emails, following up on opportunities and making phone calls. I then made a beeline for the quiet lady, sitting alone in the corner. I rarely meet ladies at the hub as only ffiften per cent of all referrals are for females. I always imagine it might be challenging being a lady alone and homeless. A lady from Somalia had arrived in the UK as a young bride, speaking no English in 2008. Her marriage had broken down a year ago and since then had been staying with a distant cousin until he asked her to leave. My lady had been sleeping outside the mosque before she was found and helped by NSNO. We had a lovely chat, her English was super and I was so pleased to hear she was at college learning English and Maths and held down a part time job. A beautiful and warm person who has so much ambition and demonstrable ‘can do’ attitude. I unfortunately had to break off our chat as the time had come for the food run to St Pancras….
After I unpacked the food I chatted away to an Italian, a man from Kuwait and a Londoner all of them with fascinating stories to tell and wonderful debating skills. I value the insights I’m learning and cultural awareness that I’m developing. Every client I chat with helps me to learn something new. My highlight of the evening came from Mr London who told me ‘you’ve no idea how nice and important it is having someone to sit and chat with’. I agreed, it’s so important to connect…………
My one hour drive home, messy house and exhaustion pales into insignificance once again and I will enjoy my Saturday knowing that however little it might seem that I have given, I do know it is truly appreciated.