Today one of our wonderful members-come-volunteers called Pat asked if he could lead us through some thoughts he had been having on our mission statement of ‘Providing Empowering and Transformative Support to Homeless and Vulnerable People in our Community’
It made Pat start thinking about vulnerability and the fact that we all in life are weak or vulnerable in some area and that it’s important for us to acknowledge and have a dialogue with our own vulnerabilities in order to be able to fruitfully help others with theirs and so really see lives transformed.
It took him back to when he first arrived at Ace of Clubs and how desperately vulnerable he was at that point… without money and suffering at the hands of various addictions he found himself totally unable to cope and with a very clear limited choice in front of him – ‘Steel or ask for help at Ace of Clubs’. Lucky for us all Pat chose to ask for help here at the centre. He is now 8 years clean from the addictions which ravaged his life and relationships and is a valuable and effective member of our community and family here at Ace of Clubs.
He pointed out that the reason Ace is able to make such a difference is that we do not separate ourselves from those who come for help, we recognise ourselves as being the same as them and so speak to people on a level with friendship rather than downward from staff to client. He feels this has made so many people feel they are part of a family here and can not only receive but give as well and therefore be enabled to transform themselves.
‘It often strikes me how much people whom society has marginalised have to offer and again I was struck today by this… It is TOGETHER that we have the ingredients to make a difference, working one with another, having each others backs when things are breaking down – not just for our members and service users but with them.’