MONDAY 1st JUNE 2020:
As we follow the government's guidelines towards a second peak in the pandemic can I share a few thoughts with you about vulnerability.
We have seen individuals, groups and charities preparing food and delivering them to "vulnerable" people. All very praiseworthy BUT NOT ENOUGH.
To put food into someone's belly does not stop them being hungry. You have to feed the belly, feed the mind and feel the heart SIMULTANEOUSLY. If you can not do this then a giant hamper from Fortnum and Mason is of less value than an out of date packet of crisps off the shelves of Aldi.
People have always been generous to Food Banks and I have worked tirelessly over the years to support efforts. Until lock down I visited EVERY Friday one small distribution point where love and information for practical support operated alongside the bags of food. Against this I can name two distribution points which are so horrible in the way people are spoken to, in the pay people are treated it would be better to be starving than to go there.
On yesterday's Downing Street briefing there was talk about some of the most vulnerable people in society. I hate the words HOMELESS ROUGH-SLEEPERS, I feel the terminology looks down on individuals. When I was, before lock down, able to work with these most vulnerable people I called them my Friends. That was not a patronising term but a true explanation of the bonds between u s.
Downing Street was speaking yesterday about what is happening right now with our friends. I honestly am not sure what is happening but if all we are doing is to bang people up in hotels and throw food at them this is a menu for disaster. I hope the answer to these questions is YES but are we treating their mental health issues ? Are we dealing with their addiction issues ? Feed the belly - feed the mind - feed the heart.
Tomorrow I want to talk about another group of vulnerable people, people who right now are more vulnerable than any others and have been made vulnerable by different governments across decades and decades.
Speak again then.