Westminster Befriend a Family

Every Second Counts: People get ready, there’s a train a comin’

WBAF

Every Second Counts: People get ready, there’s a train a comin’

It’s Monday morning and I have escaped the curse of the crack of dawn blues by way of the sun piercing through my window and blazing its rays onto my face. I find myself in in that heady state where you can almost slightly fool yourself into believing that you are in a foreign country where the sun is an ever present friend.

The sound of Bob Marley’s “Sun Is Shining” begins as I start my walk towards the train station. Once I arrive the hustle and bustle of people intensifies as the rush to get to their varied destinations becomes their only focus. The rose tinted glasses that had guided me on my journey up until this point are about to be altered to a darker shade of grey. I take out one of my headphones.

The platform is overcrowded and the train is running late. The cost of train fares continue to rise while the quality of service maintains a steady flow of free fall. Looking up at the digital time table the general feeling amongst the swelling crowd is one of simmering rage resulting in anger being hurled toward this innocent innominate object in the form of steely glares. A sea of eyes watch the right hand corner of the digital display that shows the expected arrival time for the delayed train and it seems to be escalating frequently, which is then greeted by a crescendo of sighs and kissed teeth.

By the time I catch the first glimpse of the train heading towards me (20 minutes late due to a “signal failure”) I realise that there are only three carriages, and you don’t have to be Einstein to work out there is a about to be a square peg being forced into a round hole situation about to go down.

I take out my remaining headphone and press pause.

Knocking on the carriage window I gestured to a deliberately oblivious passenger in my best dramatic sign language (ok maybe I raised my voice slightly) to convey to them that if they wouldn’t mind moving forward just a couple of paces it would enable more people to get on.  My suggestion was met with compliance by the passenger although done with subtle displeasure.  The crowd around me cheer my affirmative action and we proceeded to squeeze onto the train.

Once on the train I find myself in an uncomfortable position that stretches the parameters of my idea of personal space to their very limits. Not only do I have the pleasure of someone’s hair in my face, I also have the added bonus of being underneath the hovering arm of a man who did not have the “Lynx effect”.

Today it seems many people are in such a rush that they forget to take the time to consider others.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

By just one person addressing the situation and another taking a few steps forward it allowed many more passengers to get onto the train.  When you live in a busy city, time is of the essence and sometimes you can rush past people who are in need without taking them into consideration. Whether it’s the busker singing their heart out or the pregnant woman who needs help carrying her buggy down the stairs it really does not take much to give them a bit of our time. When people pull together life’s journey becomes a far less arduous one.

Headphones back in my ears, I press play……

“To the rescue, here I am”

 

Tyrone Wright
Writer and musician
www.soundrevolutions.blogspot.co.uk

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Every Second Counts…

Please support us by making a text donation.

Your text donations are free! Your network provider won’t charge you for them.
100% of your donation will be used to keep our Family Support Services running.

Text:  Time01  £2 / £5 / £10 to 70070

to donate now!

 

For more information: www.befriendafamily.co.uk/every-second-counts/

Every Second Counts is a campaign run by Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) to raise funds to provide practical help and support to disadvantaged families in Westminster who are unable to cope with the debilitating problems they are going through.

 

 

 

Time is money

“Time is Money!” is a phrase that was coined (excuse the pun) by Benjamin Franklin.

It means that time is valuable and if you are not using it efficiently you are losing money.

Value

Value is an interesting thing; market forces often determine how much something is worth. However, value can also be determined by the worth that an individual chooses to bestow.

There is a website called www.Peopleperhour.com that allows people to advertise their services and determine how much they want to charge. On it, you can find people from the same professions charging from as little as £8 an hour to £300 for the same service – with little discernable difference in what’s on offer.

In our society, it is so easy to treat people the same way that we treat things by placing a value on them according to their jobs or net worth. If the President of the United States had to have a life-saving blood transfusion and the only suitable donor happened to be a beggar, he would still have the transfusion. On any other day the president probably would not have given the beggar a second look. It is the same red blood that flows through our veins – princes and paupers alike, and sickness and problems have a way of resetting our value systems.

To some people that we work with “time” is not money – it is life. To them, every day, every hour, every minute and every second is not accounted for in terms of profit and loss but in terms of survival or loss. To them, time can mean the difference between having a home or being made homeless, having enough food or having to go without.

At Christmas, we had a party for the families that we work with. What made it very special was the various companies that chose to add value to it by allowing their employees to organise it, provide entertainment, and presents for the children.

The time that those employees sacrificed translated into special memories of warmth, fun, joy, happiness and presents for the children of vulnerable families in Westminster. And judging by the photos, those employees also had a good time.

You see, time does not have to be money – although, money certainly helps. However, it can also be your expertise, your advice, a sponsored event, or donated goods. Time has whatever value we chose to place on it.

A special thank you to Experian, British Land, Land Securities, John Lewis and the Volunteer Centre for showing that time can be more than money.

 

Nat Cato
Communications Team

 

Every Second Counts…

Please support us by making a text donation.

Your text donations are free! Your network provider won’t charge you for them.
100% of your donation will be used to keep our Family Services running.

Text:  Time01  £2 / £5 / £10 to 70070

to donate now!

 

 

For more information: www.befriendafamily.co.uk/every-second-counts/

Every Second Counts is a campaign run by Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) to raise funds to provide practical help and support to disadvantaged families in Westminster who are unable to cope with the debilitating problems they are going through.

 

 

Every Second Counts…

 

In 2001 I was admitted to hospital: a black man, turning white, throwing up in green, and later hallucinating in orange. 

Hitting the rewind button <<

Day 1
I had eaten a lukewarm beef pie the day before and was feeling a growing stomach discomfort.

Day 2
Amidst the stomach pain and perspiration, I was woken in the night by the most intense pain I had felt in my life.  I assumed the foetal position and suddenly felt a massive explosion in my stomach.  I cried out accordingly. *(*UIIIIIIIIIHAAArrrhhhhhhhhh…ow!

Day 3
In a typical bloke’ish way, I assessed the situation, put it down to a bad experience, and was ready to move on – no more beef pies for me then!

Day 4
I wasn’t in pain but was feeling weak, uncomfortable. At 9pm I started to throw up – in green.  I began to really panic. Unable to get through to my GP, I contacted NHS Direct who after hearing my symptoms told me to call an ambulance – IMMEDIATELY!

Five hours later, I was lying in a hospital corridor on a trolley waiting to be examined by a doctor – who had just put on ‘the old Marigold Gloves.’ It turned out that my appendix had burst and my woeful assessment of the symptoms could have led to my early demise. The toxins that were in my appendix had infected my abdomen: I had peritonitis (the cause of my colourful regurgitate) and could so easily have died.

Symptoms
Just like an inflamed appendix a lot of the problems that are responsible for breaking families up, lie beneath the surface and are only brought to light when they display symptoms. If they are wrongly diagnosed, ignored, or left to chance, the inflamed situation may explode leaving behind fatalities.

When bad things happen to us, if there is no one around to help us understand or help us through the situation we try to make sense of it ourselves. If we misread the situation or are preconditioned with an inaccurate assessment of our situation, or of ourselves, we can make wrong decisions that can have painful or life-changing circumstances.

At Westminster Befriend a Family we put on our ‘marigold gloves’ and attend to those who are shunted into one of life’s corridors. We help families that are going through stressful and often debilitating situations: homelessness, abuse, depression, and poverty.

For those who are in desperate need and unable to help themselves – Every Second Counts…

Please support us by making a text donation.

Your text donations are free! Your network provider won’t charge you for them.
100% of your donation will be used to keep our Family Services running.

Text:  Time01  £2 / £5 / £10 to 70070

to donate now!

 

Thank you

Nat Cato
Communications Team

 

For more information: www.befriendafamily.co.uk/every-second-counts/

Every Second Counts is a campaign run by Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) to raise funds to provide practical help and support to disadvantaged families in Westminster who are unable to cope with the debilitating problems they are going through.