I was just heading down along Mare Street to my friendly local stationery shop when I saw a young woman ahead of me sporting a blue plaster cast that reached from her toes to her knee. She was struggling along on her crutches and carrying a shopping bag. I asked if she would like me to carry her bag and with a sigh replied ‘Yes please’. I explained that I knew how it felt and all that, when I asked her if she had any children ‘No children, no husband, no papers’, so felt all alone.
She was on her way back from the Red Cross in Dalston, where she was given a bag full of toiletries and we both had a bit of a laugh because with that plaster she can’t have a shower, so as well as the loneliness and the pain she feels grubby because she cant have a proper wash. She only had enough money for one bus journey so had to walk the second leg.
Mimi (that’s her name), came over illegally from France with her friend to seek asylum, fleeing from Eritrea. Her friend, fortunately has a small flat and she is staying there while she is unwell, but basically she is homeless, jobless and worried. Today the Red Cross have put her in touch with a solicitor who hopefully will help her. I walked her to her front door whereupon she asked me to come in for a cuppa, which I declined due to the fact that I was on my way somewhere else. Someone with nothing offering what she had, what a lovely thing.
The reason I am telling you this is to say that if you see someone struggling with a bag or anything else, whether it is a man or a woman, old or young, give them a hand it makes you both feel happy and the world a better place.