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Reflections on 2019 - Gulsoom

Gulsoom - Our Places of Welcome Facilitator for Burton reflects on an amazing story from Places of Welcome

Gulsoom aslam

Gulsoom Aslam - Burton’s Places of Welcome Facilitator

I have met many unique individuals in my role as Places of Welcome Facilitator in Burton, amongst them one stood out, Maggie. She was articulate and smart, kind and giving. She became a regular and valued member at the Burton Library Place of Welcome and began participating as a volunteer.

Maggie then began visiting all the other Places of Welcome in Burton, becoming a familiar face and making friends along the way. She would make her way across the various areas of the town to attend a Place of Welcome every week day.

So when she hadn’t been seen for a couple of weeks’ people were worried about her. After asking around if anyone had seen her and realizing that no one had, it started to became apparent that something might be wrong. A chance conversation with a PCSO at Burton Library by a concerned friend led to us finding out that Maggie had possibly passed away. A lady of her description had recently been found unresponsive at her home. As you can imagine this news came as a total shock. Hoping it wasn’t true, I searched the internet with the little information that I had and sadly discovered a funeral notice by Maggie’s family in the Wiltshire Times.

Maggie had been estranged from her family for a while but through the funeral notice we were able to contact them.

As news spread around the Burton Places of Welcome network, I started to receive many messages expressing complete shock and heartbreak of hearing about Maggie’s passing. They wanted to talk about her and share stories. By all accounts, she was a smart lady who brought intelligent conversation, stories and warmth to all that she met. It was truly heartbreaking.

We were able to pass on these messages to her family in the hope that they found some comfort in the fact that Maggie was not alone in the weeks and months before she died. She was loved and had made many friendships and meaningful connections through Burton’s network of eight Places of Welcome that TCT has set up with a wide range of partners. This meant that Maggie was missed even before people knew she had passed.

I wanted to pay tribute to a wonderful lady, who left her mark on many people’s heart and minds. It remind us why we do what we are doing, as it impacts people’s lives in ways that we wouldn’t imagine.

The affect of Places of Welcome

“Maggie was not alone in the weeks and months before she died. She was loved and had made many friendships and meaningful connections through Burton’s network of eight Places of Welcome that TCT has set up with a wide range of partners.”