Wednesday 6th December 2023
Report written by James Smith
Tonight was bittersweet. It was the last official Barnsley GoodGym run to visit BCDP on a Wednesday evening. In future, visits will likely be happening more sporadically and be listed as meet-at tasks. We were also set to welcome in a new member this arvo...
We set off from Glasshouse at the usual time and headed to Hope House to prepare for the evening's deliveries. At Hope House we were met by a couple of familiar smiley faces- Jack and Peter. We swiftly set about stuffing snap sacks full of sweet snacks! In each one there was to be a biscuit bag (consisting of 2 bourbons, 2 custard creams and 2 'nice' biscuits), a carton of juice, a cheese sandwich, a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar and a bottle of water. We also made up an insulated mug of coffee to take out with us (more about this later!).
With all items packed up for the nights trip we fell in for the mission briefing. Using smartphone maps we were designated two known camp locations to investigate.
The first was in the grounds of St Mary's. Here we found evidence of rough sleeping in the form of a flattened tent but with no evidence of any recent occupants. Barnsley Council have accommodated rough sleepers for the cold season. A commendable policy. We reported our findings to the group and moved on to the next camp. This one was way down in the valley behind the old Pizza Hut. Here we found evidence of a camp being used but with no-one around. Hopefully they too have been put up for the cold nights.
There was one last place to check on our way back to base, the Lidl car park. Here too we found no-one, and so headed back to base.
We were the first ones back, so dropped off all the unused items, locked up and left. About 50 meters from the church we found a man rough sleeping so agreed to go back to make him a hot drink and sandwich. When we returned to hand over the items, the fella had already been found by Peter's team who were just in the process of giving him a snap bag and coffee. We decided to give him an extra sandwich and hot drink too as an extra warm beverage and snack is no bad thing on a cold night.
After this, we said goodbye to Peter, Jack, Jo and their new recruit, and headed off to stretch off the nights exertions at Glasshouse.