The Pilot Programme at our Wednesday Lunch services has been running for seven weeks now. It has been a great success .
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes for meal service, including a lot of heavy work. Loading, unloading, pick ups, sorting, restocking the van etc etc etc. the actual meal service itself is only a small part of the day and service.
What a huge and wonderful success it has proven to be, so much is able to be done and achieved with all the extra helping hands. The guys are amazing, so enthusiastic to help in anyway they can, helping to clean, sort and restock shelves before heading to service.
With so many hands available at service, lots more items are able to be given out and distributed.
Our newest team members serve food, whilst others help people with items, from jacket fittings to boot fittings and everything in between. Others clean the van whilst it is empty, and EVERYONE engages in conversation, lending a listening ear, everyone enjoying the time together. A great rapport between them and the patrons has evolved.
They even wash down all the council barbecues which we usually find dirty, always leaving the area cleaner than how we found it.
What a great programme, we get the much needed extra help and the guys, who will soon be integrating back into our community, get to feel and be a part of it, instead of apart from it.
And some of the correctional officers are now giving up their time on their days off to also come down and lend a helping hand.
Starting next week, every Wednesday ( weather permitting ), we will be having a barbecue. They have kindly offered to bring the barbecue down. They are all carefully screened for appropriate placement and they are closely supervised for the duration of their hours, both in terms of work and of their behaviour.
What a great partnership !!