Social Skirmishes

Rosie Warlock, a senior practitioner in children’s social services, tells us what’s on her mind in her weekly column

Charity is receiving a bad name these days. There’s the row over the Gaza appeal and BBC’s and Sky’s refusal to show it. Also there was the story recently about the unlucky man who gave thousands of pounds to what was a fraudulent e-mail from someone claiming to need life-saving medical treatment. My own inbox is plagued by people offering me untold riches, if I only provide my bank details.

So this charming story from Sue Noonan provides an antidote to the knockers.

“Many years ago I was on duty in a London Borough. I had just returned from a difficult case and there were several clients in the waiting room. “The first was Maria, a vulnerable young woman with a baby well known to the department.

She struggled to look after herself and her young baby. She often became frustrated, shouting to make her views known. The referral form said that she was in the office for money for fares and food. A short while later, I heard Maria shouting from the duty room: ‘I want my money now, I’m getting married, I’m late, please I’ve gotta have it’.

“The hubbub became louder and the whole waiting room appeared to be getting involved. Then I heard applause and cheers. I went out to see what was happening. Maria stood resplendent in her wedding dress, white shoes, tiara and babe in arms. A hat had been passed round the waiting room and the collection was handed over to a beaming Maria who left to catch the bus to her wedding.”

Charity can work miracles. I hope that somewhere Maria and her baby are doing well.

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