When I spoke to Norrie, he told me he will gladly accept teams from non-church organisations to do the catering, and people to be sponsored to work with the Bethany project workers for a night.
I don’t really know what I expected when I was told I would be participating in the discussion group at Bethany as part of my work experience.
I chose work experience at Bethany as my dad works here and I thought I would get a lot out of coming to work here.
As part of this I was asked to attend a discussion group for people in the community. I knew Bethany helped addicts, the homeless and vulnerable people so I realised that the people I meet at this group might be aggressive characters.
I was mainly worried that I would be meeting hardened addicts and aggressive characters. I didn’t know how they were going to react to me.
As I waited outside the door for the drop-in to start a man named Ian started speaking to me. From this point on I realised how wrong my assumptions were.
Ian told me about his time and how he had been having problems. As much as his story was harrowing and sad, he still had a smile and a pleasant attitude towards me.
As we went in and the discussion group started I was welcomed with smiles and conversations and felt included.
I realised that these people here were normal people from poor backgrounds and managed to put these problems at the back of their minds and saw from now on the good in life.
This made me realise how hard public opinion must be on people in the care of Bethany. I was completely caught off guard by these lovely, amiable people.
This discussion group is a valuable and core part of these people’s lives and the public need to be made aware of homelessness and the effect it has on people.
Bethany needs money and Caring Christmas Trees is one of the vessels for this. So please buy a tree and keep these projects running!
By Calum, aged 14, pupil in S4 at Deans’ Community High School, Livingston, West Lothian