Stories from the Road : 6 : Drunk and Hopeless

Dave Wiles and Tim Evans as Chief Executives of youth work organisations decided to draw attention to the good stories about young people by taking to the road with only £10 in their pockets. If you want to read earlier episodes, click here.

It was then that a young man who was drunk came to ask us for money….

One of the things about surviving on limited resources is that in all honesty you don’t have a lot to give away!  I had an extra £1.00 from some money my daughter had given us to buy a lighter – in case we need warmth on the road (!!) so we gave the young man this. 

This led to a conversation about him and his dogs. The money was to buy them food, he assured us.  His wife had just left him for the third time, he hadn’t eaten all day and he was in an area of Bristol from which he was banned (by ASBO) from being in. 

It seemed like a daft question to ask him about hope – but then, we were pretty daft!  “I have no hope,” was his reply, “there is no hope.” 

Of all our meetings during the day this one got to me most.  We talked about the hope we felt in his care and concern for his dogs. However, philosophical reflections on the nature of hope were not for him.  We talked some more and then he spotted another target for cash and was gone.  Perhaps a story about the stark reality of someone who has lost hope should feature here as a reminder that this is where some people are really at.

We walked on from College Green to Clifton and from here on to stay with Em. She is a  care worker from the One 25 Project) home.  Em had offered us an overnight stay when we had visited the project . She was a real blessing!  Two rooms, cosy bed, warm shower, red wine and chilli!!  Tim and I reflected on how much more you value people, events and the things we take for granted when you don’t have the normal security of home, fixed meals, transport, money etc. around you!

To be continued next month. A booklet called “Hope – Stories from the Road” containing all the stories is now available from Frontier Youth Trust on 0121 687 3505 at £5 (+50p P&P) all proceeds go to ‘Talent – Young People in Action Trust Fund’.

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