We had a very busy day on Friday. Albeit busy it was a very good day, the kind of day which Ben's is uniquely fitted for.It started off early, before we opened for clients, with a visit from a former client who has been in a re-hab for about a year. He came and shared with us what he had been doing and his plans for the future. Clients very rarely speak about their plans for the future and it was so good to see the hope being restored in this young man again. Then before we opened a client came in to do some cooking with Wendy. When we did eventually open properly we had two distressed clients who were at the end of themselves. So we listened and held their hands while they cried and off-loaded all the ‘stuff’ they had been walking round with, before offering practical help and advice. The Centre was filling up, and in between listening and trying to bring some stability to these clients; the life of Bens was going on. Cooking, answering the phone, clean clothes and shoes to find, tenancy support, client’s contacting their families by phone, setting clients some craft or life-skill to do; all bringing a sense of belonging and peace in an otherwise chaotic life. Before we knew it, it was lunch-time. Lunch was amazing and the Lemon and Lime CheeseGardening, baking and biorthdays spe 015 blogcake was, as you can see, more than the icing on the cake! It was an unqualified success. Our client’s talents never cease to amaze us. One of our clients was very tired and we encouraged him to lay down on one of our sofas and sleep, which he did. By this time the Centre was beginning to wind down and clients were leaving. We allowed the ‘sleeping beauty’ to carry on sleeping and we talked to his partner while we, the staff and volunteers, cleaned up. After we clean we sit down and have a ‘cuppa’ and talk over the day. We awakened our client and they stayed and had a drink with us. In the conversation we talked about certain books we had read and we mentioned about one of our clients who loved Oscar Wilde. We had bought the complete works for him and he used to sit and read to us the short stories of Oscar Wilde, which are truly amazing. This led into one of the clients having read ‘The Happy Prince’. So we asked if they would like to hear it read to them. They readily agreed and I read the story out loud to them. You could have heard a pin drop and they loved every minute. Both were so thankful and said it gave them such a feeling of safety. It was such a strange ending to the day but such a lovely one. Two clients went out feeling peaceful and with a sense of belonging and care and that is what we call one amazing day!