Not only do we have our own football team but they play this Sunday in a cup final.
Glasgow Wednesday Football Club were created by one our volunteer’s son to promote our group and help to raise more awareness about homelessness in Glasgow.
They have just recently secured a solid mid-table finish in the league and this Sunday will be closing out their season against Kelvin Thistle in the inaugural Refuweegee Cup Final.
Kick-off is 12 noon on Sunday 2nd June at New Tinto Park and entry is free.
The teams have met twice in the league this season, with a 2-2 draw on Thistle’s patch in November and a tight 3-2 Thistle win earlier this spring on Wednesday’s ground so it promises to be a good game of football.
The guys help us with donations and appeals and are a great bunch so we would urge anyone who can to go along and cheer them on to victory.
We hear the boy McFarlane is a player and seeing him in action will be worth the journey alone …
Creating a new service and making a tangible difference to
people’s lives was of upmost importance in the process so we looked long and
hard to find somewhere we could make an impact on people’s lives.
During our research it was soon apparent that a lot of
charity exists to help people living in crisis but for those trying to move on
there is not really a lot there. Austerity has battered the welfare state to
the point that literally no funding exists from the DWP for people moving out
of homeless accommodation and into their own home.
They can apply to their local authority for essential items,
but people are being given mattresses with no bed frame, or carpets for only
one room, and left pretty much in squalor. It is difficult for most of us to
empathise with the gravity of someone starting again from nothing and
recovering even the most basic day-to-day items.
Once we decided this was an area, we wanted to look into we
realised that actually finding genuine candidates might be difficult. It was
decided to look toward some of the bigger charities who deal with people moving
on with their lives and found two partners to work with initially.
Turning Point Scotland deal with thousands of people every
year who live in temporary furnished flats (TFFs). These are people living in a
scatter flat who have previously been on the streets, homeless hostels and are
now waiting on their permanent accommodation.
We decided we must approach Turning Point because nobody
else has the access or knowledge of people moving into their own accommodation.
They gladly agreed to work alongside us to identify people who would be most in
need of our help to provide much needed items for people’s new homes, like
white goods or furniture.
Glasgow are friends of ours who work down at Cadogan Street. They run their
own unique unit in the north of Glasgow with people recovering from
homelessness working there to earn their keep.
Unlike Turning Point, they will be using the awards
differently for things like driving lessons or work-related training courses to
try and give their users that extra little chance of succeeding when they are
ready to move on from the facility.
As well as Turning Point and Emmaus we will consider award
to individuals we know from the street and will hopefully be looking for other
partners as the project evolves.
The genesis of the idea was with our best volunteer,
Michelle McFarlane, who sadly passed away in October of last year and the scheme
will be named in her honour. We hope it to be a project worthy of her name.
Michelle took in the original donation that is funding the
first year of our project and then set-up early meetings to discuss ideas.
We had further meetings late last year and only reached a
consensus early this year but are happy this is a valuable cause. Creating this
legacy for Michelle is something that means a lot to each and every one of us,
so we hope to watch it grow.
Refusing to sit back and an insistence on keeping on moving
was what made Michelle different from most. It was she who drove us onto the
streets five years back when there were very few groups out there in Glasgow
and she instigated this new project too.
We are only just recovering from her death and as a group we floundered for a few months. In a family dynamic when someone passes, they are not replaced, and this is how it has gone with Michelle’s passing in our group. There is a void that will never be filled but, like a family, we are back getting on with it and all chipping in to carry on her work.
Billy Reid is another respected volunteer in our group and
knew Michelle better than most. He said: “We are delighted to be getting this
off the ground and think it has the potential to grow because the need badly
“Michelle was keen to get a new service operating that would
help the lives of the homeless in Glasgow and was at the first few meetings
earlier last year spearheading the early ideas.
“We have already stepped up our outreach operation this year
and are doing much more street work but that is different and after a lot of
discussion we feel like we have found something else that will make a real
difference to folk’s lives with the Michelle McFarlance Award.”
The scheme is already up and running and we will be updating
our website in the coming months to detail some of the grants bestowed.
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