Tuesday, 5 February 2008

DAY 5: Thursday 14th February 2008

Valentine's Day

Morning blood glucose reading 6.2 mmol/L (OK a good reading)

The Advertiser came out today with the article about the Lent Challenge

Thursday is usually a very busy & long day . . . in the morning we have ESOL classes at Harpurhey & there's usually a lot of coming & going with asylum seekers

Today one guy came in for a long chat about a personal issue & I also arranged for a bus ticket for him to visit his solicitor in London & to visit a cultural meeting to collect evidence for a fresh asylum claim

Quite a few emails to respond to today about the Challenge & had to arrange a couple of food parcels for some Manchester guys taking the Challenge - arranged to meet up with them this afternoon at the Destitution Project so that see what goes on

Had a phone call from Channel M
(Manchester's own TV channel) to arrange filming an interview for broadcasting tomorrow

A couple of the guys came into the office for a lift & in the afternoon I took them down to the Destitution Project at St Brides

Every Thursday afternoon, except Christmas & Easter, you'll find BOAZ at St Brides where we partner with the Red Cross & other agencies - we regularly see 70-80 people
(at one point it reached over a 100!) who collect food parcels, talk to us about accommodation & come to receive other advice

St Brides is not the only Destitution Project in Manchester, there are a number of them across the city, maybe serving 300-400 people every week & we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg of the destitute asylum seeker community

Many of these people have become our friends & it hurts that we cannot always help them to the extent that we would like to

One of the Lent Challengers came to pick up the food parcels for her & her daughter . . . I showed her around & introduced her to a number of asylum seekers - she was visibly moved by their stories

We have found that this is often a turning point with people: meeting asylum seekers & hearing their stories
(from their own lips) - we often take asylum seekers with us on our Roadshows as their stories are so powerful (if you would like BOAZ to give a presentation or Roadshow at your church or group please contact our office www.boaztrust.org.uk)

Spent some time this afternoon with a number of guys who have been refused but are still living in their NASS accommodation, one of them had been told to vacate their room by Monday! They might be able to sleep on a friend's floor
(this is not always that easy), or find something else . . . I told them to contact me Monday, if they needed accommodation, & we would 'place them' in the night shelter (we have a waiting list of 190 at the moment for our houses/hosts & Thursday can be a bit tough at times)

Viv was not working today & she had read Khaled Hosseini's 'The Kite Runner' almost in one sitting, she said it was a 'can't put down book' - I don't think I have the time for 'can't put down books' these days!

Breakfast: porridge & 1 slice of dry toast

Lunch: tin of baked beans, slice of dry bread
& orange

Dinner: Candle lit! 'Hash' made with potatoes, onion, chick peas, green pepper & sardines
(we both agreed it was 'interesting' & this was not a recipe we should ever repeat!)

Bed time: blood glucose level 8.4 mmol/L (not good but not that bad, the highish reading probably due to the potato - interestingly earlier in the week I had eaten a jacket potato with no bad results! Lesson eat the skins)

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