The rough with the smooth


Incident report, 10 March. People involved: Visitor A (let’s call him Alf); Visitor B (let’s call him Bill); Rob (staff); Anne-Marie (volunteer receptionist).

What happened: Alf was using a PC. He went to the toilet and Bill sat down at the PC and started using it. Alf came back and complained. Bill answered back; an argument ensued. Both went to the reception window and carried on and Anne-Marie was a bit freaked out.

Rob was nearby and he said to Bill, “You didn’t book in for the PC and you haven’t given your name”. Bill said “You know my name.” Rob said, “You haven’t given your name.” Bill became abusive (F-words and so on) and went out. Then he put his head round the door and said “F***ing Jesus”. Later he came back in and sat at a PC again. Rob went and asked him to book in. He left (“F*** you”). Alf did not lose it at all. Action later: Bill banned for one month.

The aftermath was that Bill came back in today and went into the drop-in, where someone realised that he was banned and took him outside. He declined to take his ban letter or to leave. I was told and went down, ready to tell him once and then call the police, which usually works, and he went without much protest.

Alf, by the way, had been a mercenary soldier, and was very restrained. He is softening a lot these days, having been a very rough character.

Bill may come back in a month. We’ll see.


Last week on Monday we had our annual volunteer and staff event, to big up our team and thank God for all that has been achieved in the past year.

Nick (not a volunteer) volunteered to cook a meal and produced a quality spread that day. He had a team of half a dozen young helpers as waiters and waitresses, and cleaner-uppers. The tables were spread, candles lit, thanks and intro given, and the feast began.

After the meal we had 20 minutes of a Planet Earth video: mountain beauty, eagles, pandas, and pathos. (The usual technical hitches were narrowly averted by our technical assistants, Helen and Simon.)

After that Gillian, our volunteer volunteer coordinator (yes, that’s right), gave out certificates of achievement to all volunteers present, by role: cleaners, cafe helpers, kitchen crew, leaders of services: Mums & Toddlers, Your Space, Your Art, Your Future, Anger Management, Dads-4-kids, Re-Cycle, Allotment, Guitar Class, Habit Breaker, Alcohol Free, Your Weight, Live at the Well, Home Education, Talk English, plus those doing Maintenance, Admin, Technical Support, Reception, The Bridge, and committee members. Quite a roll of honour.

Finally we thanked God and worshipped.

It all went smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy it. 42 volunteers, eight staff, one trustee, eight non-volunteers, ten helpers. Thank You Lord.

Alf was helping to set up a room today. Maybe Bill will make it to be a volunteer one day, too.

Published 11th May 2010 with tags: volunteering

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