Monday, March 01, 2021

The toughest days of my life ........ and years later a blessing comes at me - YOUTH WORK ....... I call it LOVE work!

 Running a Youth Club in a tough Inner-City context is hard going.

Pool tables damaged/radiators pulled from walls/violence to other members and staff/setting fire in the club and more .......

I can only get better when relationships are built - and that doesn't happen overnight. The club needed to be "MY CLUB" rather than impersonal facility. The above is my hand written note about the climate at this time - and now I can report the positive

On a few occasions we had to close the doors to allow the change to happen - from wrecking the club to 'this is our club and we want it to get better not worse'.

One of our members reflects on all this - looking back ........ over many years - a massive blessing - certainly for me ......


 I believe an example of this for me is the Mayflower Family Centre, when I re-read Gutter Feelings I was struck by how painful and such a struggle some days were for you and your Staff, and at times I have felt a little guilty for how tough it was for you guys.

But I suppose empathy and consideration for others, are not particularly high on your average 13 year old east end kids agenda.
But my memories are so different, running to the club as 6 o’clock loud exited queuing to get in shouting abuse at these ffin Christians to get a move on, and if they didn’t we would make them pay in the pillar room we would beat them bad.
The coffee bar the snooker table the rifle range the swimming pool, it was a place of excitement apprehension expectations, and strangely SAFE  - why safe, when one considers how hard and dangerous the streets outside were, when I ask myself this Pip, and take myself to task there is only one answer.

It was you and your team, you were the safe, Doug and Jill, me and Doug and I went bottle digging I showed him where the bombed houses were , it was his hobby , we had breakfast in the Mayflower kitchen it was great. 

Nick Marshall taught me to play the guitar to a good standard, going running on Saturday mornings with Mark and Patrick. 

Do you remember a team leader called Dick I can’t remember his surname, that poor man soaked up so much abuse and kept coming back for more, and then there was you, in the middle of everything.
Peace keeper, friend, preacher, social worker, citizens advice, this was my Mayflower,
And what it meant to me.
And who were these Christian people, these people that is seemed to me, no matter how much abuse and hatred they received , neither judged nor condemned. 

I had never met people like that until I joined the Mayflower, everyone I had encountered up until that time were carrying so much emotional turmoil, most of the views that they seemed to have were negative and without hope.
So Mayflower was safe, that was what you and you’re team did for us.
So Thank you. 😁👍
God bless you Pip ................. Rob Hogg