Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day 2011 at the Whitechapel Mission

I got to the Mission for 5:30 am for a hilarious start, as upon entry I was asked if I was on probation. A curt “no!” sufficed.

The always bubbling Sue Miller was next up to meet and welcome. Being greeted by the fabulous Sue is tantamount to an instant early mornings shake me up. You instantly lose the dreariness and stand to attention. The encounter revs you up for the work ahead.

Sue gave me the till to man that morning, although with the first 60p of the breakfast on the house for Christmas, only two people made a payment of 20p. I also cut two lovely donated home made cakes and everyone got to eat a slice or six after breakfast. There was also a selection box goodie for everyone who came.

My stable mate for the day was David, a Glasgow Rangers and Manchester United supporting Irishman. Being Liverpool and Celtic, “Gulp!” I thought. 

Gaffer as I nicknamed him kept me busy till breakfast. The enterprising David likes to stand at the counter and chat so he can get his breakfast early and avoid the queue. We broke into guffaws of laughter each time Tim, an ex road sweeper from Barking & Dagenham called me Baghdad (Emdad) and apologised profusely. It was totally side-splitting seeing poor Tim’s face.

David is a gentleman with a sense of humour that reflected my own and I thoroughly enjoyed the banter and experience.

There was a lot of spirit, enthusiasm and happiness amongst my fellow volunteers, namely Phillip, Rochelle, Elise, Nicki, Adam, and I also caught up with Tony, who I assisted with hairdressing last year.

We washed and cleaned thereafter and left at midday. It was a very satisfactory morning indeed.

Christmas Day is actually a quiet day at the Mission – a service that runs 365 days a year by selfless individuals and volunteers. If you would like to support the Whitechapel Mission and the fantastic efforts of Tony & Sue Miller please visit www.whitechapel.org

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