We have been really busy at Ben’s Centre this week, averaging 15 clients a day and a steady stream of new clients wanting to access the Centre. Ben’s capacity is at the top of what it can cope with, so we are having to work closely with the outreach teams who work out on the streets to identify who is most vulnerable and the most in need. You realise just how short staffed we are at times like this. However running the day Centre is only part of the organisation’s work load . We are currently writing our Annual Report, a requirement of the Charity Commission and a working document which we use with potential funders and supporters of the charity. We have had a Future Jobs placement worker Matt, with us for two weeks and he has done a sterling job at helping us prepare the report before it goes off to the printers, we would like to say a big thanks to him for all his help.
In all the activity yesterday I (Wendy) was busy multi tasking and I completely forgot to prepare lunch for clients. Luckily Fridays dinner option was swung into action a day early with less cooking time needed and order was restored, enabling us to serve lunch on time. This is a basic requirement to keep harmony in any busy day centre. Events of the day revealed how close we are to something or someone snapping under all the pressure and some TLC is in order I believe.
By 6PM we finally left the building, the last client leaving at 5:50PM - 3 hours after we had officially closed. Yet another new client in real need had arrived just as I was trying to interview 2 new volunteers for the Centre. Kay and I realised this was a client identified to us by outreach and so we set about engaging with this lady. Although we couldn’t address all of her needs she did leave the Centre 2 hours later with very different body language than when she first arrived: head up and feeling a lot more peaceful, she felt cared for and special.
For confidentiality reasons I can’t disclose the events of those two hours but we didn’t do anything miraculous – we just gave her space to be and we listened. This is not always easy at the end of an exhausting and taxing day but the rewards for her where huge. She was able to leave feeling more able to cope and tackle yet another night in Sheffield.