Meeting Matt

Often, volunteering with the Humanist Action Group is a very rewarding experience. We always receive positive feedback on the homeless outreach work we do. However, sometimes, it’s heartbreaking.

Last week, myself and Katie were out out on the usual run, when we encountered a man sat at the bottom of Briggate. He was very memorable because of the amount of blood covering his eye and nose.

Having sat down to talk to him, we soon discovered that only about fifteen minutes before we arrived, he had been badly assaulted by a group of young men.

After finding an eye witness and taking his details should the police be able to do anything, we walked Matt up to Leeds General Infirmary to get him checked out. Despite having a headache he thankfully seemed still coherent, but you can’t be too careful with blows to the head.

My point is though, who does that?

Who just goes up to someone and starts kicking them in the head? Or tramp whacking was Matt described it.

I’ll be honest, normally I would be a little dubious of such a story, but having had it entirely collaborated by an eye witness you have to wonder to yourself what kind of sick bastard would do such a thing. It degrades your faith in humanity.

Matt was clearly an intelligent guy who had been down on his luck; on the way to the hospital he discussed various programming languages with me, and the various flavours of physics with Katie. If it can happen to Matt, it can happen to anyone.

Yet somehow, some individuals, luckily a very, very small minority of our society, think it is OK to abuse people like Matt.

Luckily, there is something we can do. Getting out there and making a difference not only provides a valuable service but also has an incredibly powerful psychological impact, showing that people do care.

As such, I would like to take this opportunity to says thank you to everyone who has been involved with HAG work over the years. It is times like this that really remind you why it is important.



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This entry was posted on Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 2:57 pm and is filed under Foundation, Humanism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.