It's Thursday and we are BACK with another interview with one of our partnered charities! This week it is Glasgow City Mission with Jack Geddes. Join us on our journey as we give you guys an inside look into charities during COVID19.
ENJOYDANI: Introduce yourself and Glasgow City Mission.
JACK: I’m Jack Geddes and I am the Marketing and Fundraising manager at Glasgow City Mission. GCM has been going for 194 years, it’s been going since the year 1826. It was started by a young Christian guy by the name of David Naismith. David was appalled by poverty and homelessness in 1826 and I think if he came back, he'd still be appalled. So, we have been a Christian organization started by him and he involved all the local Glasgow churches and it's still the same today. So as long as you have a live church connection you can volunteer or work at Glasgow city mission and its non-denomination, so I work alongside Baptist, Brethren, Presbyterians the whole thing, it’s great. It’s a real collaboration between the different churches in Glasgow to work with the homeless.
MIRANDA: What are you guys doing, and what are the current needs / how are you guys meeting them?
JACK: When we took the decision to lockdown it was quickly realised that the best way we can keep in touch is by phone, either do something like a Zoom, FaceTime or phone call and some of our guests didn’t have mobile phones so we bought mobile phones for them. We also bought top ups for them if they required, to keep in touch because a lot of people have mental health issues, have addiction issues, and as you can imagine isolation is really not a good place for a lot of our guys. It’s all about keeping in touch, it's all about keeping the Community we have so we have done that. We also through Facebook and zoom we’ve been doing a lot of work. The fact that we’ve got thrown technology is fantastic. What is key is keeping in touch and keeping communication open and if there are issues, for instance, we’ve had an issue where somebody’s electricity went down so we were able to help with that and get their electricity back, if there are housing issues or benefit issues we can help and intervene for those as well.
MIRANDA: Can you give us one story of hope that might encourage everyone listening.
JACK: I have a colleague Alfie who has a great story and I’ll just tell you. So Alfie was struggling and he went into rehab and got himself clean and he was rehoused in Largs, he thought this is a nice town by the sea, you can get ice cream and it will be okay, however he got housed and across the landing from him was a heroin dealer, so pretty soon he was back into a chaotic life. It got so bad for Alfie that one Sunday he decided he was going to kill himself. So he got the rope and he got the chair and he couldn’t do it so he thought to himself, I know what will help, a bottle of liquor, so he went out to buy a bottle of vodka but he didn’t realize the clocks had changed so the shop was closed so he was standing outside waiting for it to open and someone shouted to him and it was an older woman across the road, she called him over and he went across and she was talking to him about the flat he was in and said “I used to live there’’ and so she was chatting away. Her pal came up and said “come on we are late, what are you doing,” and the lady said to Alfie do you want to come with us for a cup of tea and biscuit and He thought “huh okay and maybe she’ll thinking kindly of me and give me 10 Quid as well”, so they were walking along the street and suddenly they stopped at this big church, he went inside and he said he never felt so much love in his life.
From that point on he started going to that church, clearly didn’t kill himself, and one week later he was there and a guy got up on stage to tell his story and said I’m a former heroin addict and Alfie was just blown away. Through this guy he met a man called David Harper. He saw a DVD of David Harper’s story, he went from a drug addict to rehab in a place called the Haven which is outside Glasgow, a Christian rehab centre, and was impacted by David’s story about how he had quit.
Alfie is now a project worker at Glasgow City Mission now, one of his bosses is David Harper! I don’t think Alfie would mind me telling this story, he’s actually up on YouTube telling it a lot better than I do. It’s an incredible story from someone who was once experiencing homelessness & addiction. Now Alfie & David Harper are now colleagues.
Link to Alfie’s FULL story.
DANI: That's incredible! What can people do to help you all?
JACK: It’s interesting because we get a lot of types of donations but especially this time, what we are actually looking for is donation of money. What we are doing is using the money to facilitate all the different connections we have with our clients. We also are facilitating food getting delivered, and making sure we have a van that is making the deliveries. If you go into our website www.glasgowcitymission.com you’ll find the donate button very quickly, we’ve also got a Facebook page, you can see a lot of what we are up to, there’s been some really good stuff the last couple days, we’ve really upped our game in the social media side of things and I think it will point how we deal with it in the future. I think we really have to embrace what we are doing, but through that there are opportunities to donate as well!
FINAL THOUGHTS:Want to hear more? You can access the full interview on (ADD YOUTUBE LINKS).
A big THANK YOU to Jack Geddes from Glasgow City Mission for taking us behind the scenes, and a big thanks to YOU for being part of our social impact journey.
- Dani & Miranda