on helping the helpers

I have a temporary job here in Wales, just down the road from the hill, it is office based, full of smiley people who do their level best everyday to help those in need.

We work with people that most people would pass by, with those who would be judged and who are not sure how to help themselves.  It is a tough job, done with great good heart by people who give a damn.  It is my privilege to be part of this team albeit briefly.

If anyone was watching us at work I think we would look like worker bees, constantly moving between the offices and the community, grabbing a quick coffee on the way.  Mostly people are smiling, they certainly support each other, never a problem someone can’t offer an idea about.  Yet amid all the activity are real people with real lives and sometimes it is worth looking at the helpers.

It makes me think about all the other places I have worked in a team to offering to support and help where it is needed.  From youth work to refugee aid, I have seen people coming together to try and make things better for others.  Within these teams there are people who have struggled with life themselves.  Some have been poor, or poorly, have worried about family and loved ones, and yet despite all of this they come to work with a smile and get on with things.

These people are my heroes.  Looking above the smile and into the eyes is sometimes a giveaway, things are not as good as they could be. Others are dealing with people who remind them of times gone by, bringing up unwelcome thoughts of problems in the past.  Yet, everyday there are such people turning up for work in all sorts of places and quietly getting on with trying to help, people who are making things better for others.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, there is always scope for helping.  A friendly smile, a light touch to the arm, eye contact and kind words, cost very little, but can mean so much.  Spare a thought for all the helping people, think about how they put themselves and their own worries and problems into a box while they reach out to others. Think as I do, how best we can help them.  Helping the helpers, it has be worth it.

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