Today it’s very cold. Severe frost overnight leaving everywhere looking pretty, but it must be below freezing.In the centre we have a gradual build up of numbers as the morning continues. All come in complaining of the cold. Teresa is in the kitchen cooking sausage casserole and lovely aromas are wafting through the project. Phil, our volunteer on a Monday, is busy playing “Pool” with the clients. Wendy is desperately trying to pick up some stitches in a scarf one of our clients is knitting. It’s all very peaceful and a lovely atmosphere. You can never tell what each day will be like. Friday was incredibly busy and a very demanding day. I’m in reception dealing with the clients as they come in, answering the phone, chatting to them and dealing with some of their requests. It’s quite busy but everyone seems calm. Monday is usually a quieter day as usually its nobodies “pay day” and after the weekend they are quite pleased to be in the centre and warm. A client wants a pair of glasses so he can read the paper. Wendy came in today with another lot of glasses she had bought for a £1 each! A relative of one of our clients has come into see him. This is a real treat for him and lovely for us to see too. One of our clients receives a letter telling him that he has a dentist’s appointment. He puts the date in his diary. We gave diaries out at the beginning of the year for clients to put their appointments in and hopefully they would manage to keep them, the diaries and the appointments. They are really well used and valued. Again they are a product of one of Wendy’s amazing buys. Janet, another of our faithful volunteers comes in at lunchtime. Dinner is served and a hush falls over the place. Then there is a steady stream of people going outside for a smoke! I help a client fill in a form and put it in the rack for posting. The phone keeps ringing. A client who has been robbed the night before is quite upset. Wendy sits with him and gently listens as he pours his heart out. Practically we give him a coat and a rough sleeper’s pack, containing a sleeping bag, hat and gloves, food, flask and a torch. I take a new client into the office to assess him. Seconds are served and again a hush falls on the room. Many start to make their way out often stopping for a chat in reception. We eventually say goodbye to them all and now the staff can get on with their many other jobs. The end of another day at Bens.