Judy Thomas

Sussex
I was very young when I volunteered to work at the Black-E. I had never lived away from home before so I think it was a real experience. I stayed in Canning Street, with other volunteers from all over the world. We ate at a house in Huskisson Street late every night. It was vegetarian food. I have never eaten meat since!
I remember working on a patchwork quilt project. It was a large group project and hundreds of people took part. One Saturday a man called Pete came all the way from Kirby, especially to add his bit. He cut up his Liverpool hat and stuck the Liver bird on the quilt. I was very impressed by his commitment.
On Mondays we played staff games. I really enjoyed them. During my time they were focussed on story telling. I remember writing ‘AN’ stories (someone called Anne was leaving), making up a 2 minute story for someone who was dying, and stories with a refrain after every sentence.
I was in Moldavia, watching fireworks with 300 Romanian orphans. For most of them it was there first ever experience of fireworks. It was the most emotional and exciting thing I have ever experienced. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much. 300 children jumping up and down, laughing and laughing.
I was working as a nursing auxiliary, in a palliative care unit of a private hospital, in Sydney. I was looking after a lady called Stenier. She had cancer. She was incredibly special. She was Jewish and had escaped from Hungary during the Second World War. She had amazing stories. It was a real privilege to spend time with her.
Riding fast through the night, through dark forests, under a star filled sky in Mongolia. It wasn’t far from the Siberian border. There was the smell of horses, pine trees and a real sense of adventure. Their were wolves in the forest.