Sunday, April 21, 2024

A warm welcome

I slept badly last night. From 1- 4 am my mind was whirring and relentless. Yesterday was a refugee hospitality day in Bakewell and there is so much preparation beforehand and it’s so busy on the day that my mind takes at least a day to calm down when it’s over.

Our guests usually come from 25 miles away in Derby, where they are based. We pay for their transport and provide activities and a special lunch and afternoon tea. The most important part of the day, though, is a warm welcome.

For the last three weeks I’d been looking at the weather forecast because (for those of you who don’t live in the U.K.) this April has been horribly cold and wet - worse than any spring I can remember. And we need a dry day that is preferably sunny for our guests to really enjoy themselves.

The riverside walk is a highlight, for example…

And we like to play with the children outside 

Demo by Dave last summer

Everything is late coming out this spring, and for the last week I was walking round my garden everyday between the showers hoping to see if the bluebells were out, and checking what else I might pick to put in the posies for the lunch tables. This is a birds’ eye view of the posies in their jam jars (with just two bluebells) placed in a box to take to Bakewell yesterday, which I took with my food contributions to the lunch and all the oddments I’d forgotten to take down to the Meeting House the day before. 

Here they are on the lunch tables

We always provide craft activities for those who are interested. The children generally love to decorate trinket boxes. Look at this beauty painted and bejewelled by a 12 year old boy yesterday.

These days are such happy and friendly days. It feels so good to be able to give a warm, respectful and friendly welcome to people who have experienced so much trauma and hardship and whose current lives are full of uncertainty and anxiety. The government might show them no compassion, but we can. 


marmee said...

Big hugs and respect to you all

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Marmee. Hug gratefully received. xx

Anonymous said...

In awe of what you do for refugees, knowing the amount of time and effort it takes to plan for, then pull off a successful event.

Also, so uplifting to see real kindness in action. It rarely makes the headlines.

And that jewelled box! What a highlight.

Thea, xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Thea.
It feels good to be able to do something, even something small, when there is so much horror out there that we can do nothing about.