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Monday, 12 December 2011

cold and wet at the mill, a warm welcome in Leeds

Yesterday was my Fair Trade stall at the Howsham Mill craft fair, it was wet and cold, but a few hardy souls came and bought a variety of fairly traded craft items and food. As well as starting to restore the mill building the group installed an Archimedes screw some years ago and are feeding power into the grid; when installed it was one of the first in the country. Many years ago I and a class of 10 years old made model Archimedes screws and watched as the water turned the screw, no we didn't generate any electricity!

Here is the link, please go and see it if you can, this time next year they hope the building will be restored, the water wheel already is.

the FT stall in the unrestored mill

the Archimedes screw

For new comers to the blog I only link to charities or other non-profit making organisations and I only give recommendations to social businesses like Fairer World in York, who provide us with the goods for our Fair Trade stalls.

Got off the bus this morning to a warm welcome from my gadding friend (for the uninitiated she is my Leeds friend with the maroon booklet known as a British passport). More about my other friend later. We think we set the world to rights, her husband thinks we just 'gad'! We have a good lunch and set the world to rights; then I get the bus to SOLACE, an inspiring charity that cares for traumatised people from all over the world.

I meet my other friend there, she is an asylum seeker who has had a bad time and is now doing her best to put it behind her. We chat about her college course, it's hard work, but good stress she calls it; one day she hopes to work in a caring profession to pay back the help she had had, but first she needs her status. I remind her that I will go with her to the UKBA for reporting next week. More news on what I know will be a stressful time next week.
We then have lots of laughs about my grandsons' antics, I was there last week, she especially likes the "go way Granny" when the older one is up to no good. She then goes off to have some therapy to relieve the stress she still suffers from, later a volunteer leads a poetry reading group to help her and others in the same boat to improve their English.I tell her that her English has improved in the two years we have been friends, she is delighted I think so.

We were introduced by another local charity, LASSN, Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network.

I have a chat to the SOLACE staff about the possibility of a trip to the seaside for their clients next summer, if finance can be found for the transport we will try to organise something.

Get the bus home, my pass has been well used today. A couple of good days in very different ways, tomorrow is Short Stop, which can be very difficult, fingers crossed not too many homeless asylum seekers tomorrow.

When I get home, do I feel a little smug, yes OK I do................