Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holland, Michigan & Bono's Shades

It's been a well travelled past week and a half. A weekend road trip to Holland and back to visit the Dutch God's Squad Associates and their endeavors in making great connections within the biking community there. It was great to catch up with all of them and their families plus guys from Finland and Germany too.

Sleep deprivation meant I was a bit fuzzy headed for the Zac's gatherings on returning - cold floors in a salvation army hostel, but in good Zac's tradition light glimmered in the darkness! Then before I knew it, after precious family time, I was on the dreaded National Express airport bus at midnight after coffee bar at Zac's. Four and a half hours of the M4 and arriving at Heathrow airport feeling like I was jet lagged before embarking a flight for Detroit via Washington DC.

The weekend visit to USA was to see the official launch of the chapter of God's Squad there - it's been a long road for the guys there - five years, so it was a real sense of celebration. The usual round of club visits and sharing stories in bars and over meals finished with an unexpected opportunity to preach at a small Wesleyan Church that our guys in Michigan attend. (I had all of five minutes warning! I guess the upside was it gave no time for anyone to escape!

Fortunately I enjoy travel - I thrive on it in fact, places and people on the road continuing to be opportunities of learning . It's also the best and one of the few places I get chance to read and ponder. This return leg of the over night flight I was reading 'Bono on Bono' to while away the time and particularly liked this quote from him;

"It's impossible to meet God with sunglasses on ...... Without abandon, without exposing yourself, being raw".

Very 'poverty of spirit' that - nothing left to hide - here I am God, warts and all. Maybe it's when Bono prays he confidently removes his shades.
Here's a few snaps of friends who showed me great hospitality in Michigan;

Tony and Janice

Brian (r) and his brother Cliff

Tom on the right who heads up the club in USA and Prophet on the left - very jealous of that stetson!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Partnership Working Helps Homeless People in Swansea get checked out…..


Thursday, 3 December 2009
A Health Day for the Homeless proved a popular place to be today.The annual event was held at Zac’s Place in Swansea with the aim of checking the health of Swansea’s homeless and providing flu jabs and other support.
During the event two dentists undertook oral health assessments, two podiatrists provided foot assessments and care, staff from the community mental health team were doing mental health assessments, and nurses were on hand to administer seasonal flu and swine flu immunisations.

In addition, staff from the Swansea Drugs Project were on hand to provide drug and alcohol advice.

In the first two hours over 30 homeless people popped in to get their check up.

Picture: Podiatrist Glen Rees

A sign of the importance of the event, two people were referred for further urgent medical care.

Janet Keauffling, Nurse for Homeless and Vulnerable Adults in Swansea, said:

“ It has been very successful both in terms of the care that it provides to people who might not otherwise access health care, but also in getting health professionals to work more effectively together to provide care for homeless people with complex needs.

“This year we are being assisted by 47 medical students from Swansea University School of Medicine. To our knowledge, this is the first time medical students have been involved in such a significant way in providing health care to homeless people in Wales. As well as their help being invaluable, it is also intended as a learning experience and an opportunity to develop their clinical skills.”

After the health assessment a welcome tea or coffee was on hand along with cakes and goodie bags full of various toiletries like toothbrush & toothpaste, socks, shampoo, soap, tissues etc,.

The data that has been collected will also provide the first ever baseline assessment of the health of a group of homeless people in Swansea and forms a vital part of work being undertaken by ABM and other agencies on improving the care of homeless people.

This event is supported by the Swansea University School of Medicine, Big Issue Cymru, Cyrenians Cymru, The Wallich & ABMU Health Board.

If you need any further information please contact Janet on 01792 470129 (9-1 weekdays) or via High Street Surgery 01792 460015.

Source: Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board