imageThe one thing we never can foresee is the weather… and neither, it seems, can some weather forecasters.

It rained; then it sleeted; and later it snowed. But the Christmas spirit on our Soup Run definitely abounded.

Over 125 hardy souls turned up and all were very well fed [many with double portions of our excellent Chicken Supreme] by our Street Team with a couple of guest appearances: our former colleague Michael Walsh [who retired last April after 20 years’ service – he got time off for good behaviour] and the local Police boss, Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin, who had impressed us earlier in the year with his willingness to get stuck in and help as well as listen to people’s problems and forget he was a copper that evening. Not many knew he was Bradford’s top cop and, in truth, I don’t suppose many cared too much last night.

The previously mentioned Christmas fare was readily and eagerly consumed, all were replete and those who attended didn’t seem to mind the rain/turning into sleet. All the ‘perishable’ presents were given out – two bags each – and the hats, gloves, scarves, chox and sox were just what was required. This year we decided to test Simon’s mettle and he was able [and more than willing] to hand out the presents as well as shake the hands of all present whilst wishing them a Happy Christmas.

I can almost guarantee that at next week’s Soup Run there will be some who will turn up and ask if it’s too late for them to get their Christmas presents [it won’t be].

Was it perfect? No – the weather sort of dampened the occasion. But we did succeed in making it an excellent Christmas for those who were there. And the Street Team were as good as expected: It came as no surprise to many to find they’d been working for days to ensure most needs were met.

When everyone had gone their separate ways I read out some of the comments made on the Christmas cards received at our office. It seemed only right they should be aware of how impressed our supporters are of their efforts. Particularly memorable was a handwritten letter from the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe. It’s good to know that some in high places appreciate the difficulties of others, as well as the efforts made by my Team to do their best to help those who have little.

My family Christmas is tomorrow – they decided to delay the festivities, as well as help prepare, so the Soup Run, and those we meet, could be catered for first – so family duties call, at least for the next day or so.

Hope you all had a good Christmas. Thanks to your efforts we were able to ensure those at the foot of the heap had a good one, too.

John Tempest