Vulnerable man lauds volunteers who 'keep him going'

PHILIP Clarke, who has poor eyesight, has issued a heartfelt thanks to big-hearted volunteers who help him live his life.

In a shining example of Britain’s Big Society 55-year-old Clarke, a proud man now forced to wear spectacles for failing eyesight, has come to rely on the kindness of strangers to maintain his daily routine of running a supermarket chain.

He said: “Without these people giving their time for free, it would be impossible for me to continue to live in my nice house, eat sweet luscious meats and float in the jacuzzi that is vital to my self-esteem.

“It’s quite something that in this day and age people are still willing to turn out and stack shelves in the night. I mean, it’s not like there’s really anything in it for them.”

Several hundred people come by lonely, ageing Philip’s cosy little supermarket each night, having a cup of tea with him and a chat about how things used to be made of Bakelite before helping to put his groceries away.

Clarke said: “It’s the company that means the most to me. To clarify I mean ‘company’ as in ‘sympathetic chat’ not ‘big thing with shareholders’.”

Volunteer Nikki Hollis said: “Helping Philip just gives me a good feeling. It’s just little things, like putting his several thousands cans of beans away, and making sure the labels are all facing in the same direction.

“He’s quite particular about that, bless him.”

A government spokesman said: “This demonstrates just how inspiring and humane volunteerism can be.

“That’s what the Big Society is about; getting involved, helping those who cannot help themselves, using spare time to do something meaningful.”

He added: “Incidentally we do not class the disabled as needy. They’re that way because they did something bad in a previous life.”

 

 

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Middle-class drug abuse linked to Radio 2 'shout outs'

AN epidemic of anti-anxiety drug usage has been blamed on increasingly protracted ‘shout outs’ by callers to BBC Radio 2.

Mid-morning spikes in prescription drug consumption have been found to directly correlate with contestants requesting ‘a few hellos’ on Ken Bruce’s PopMaster.

Former accountant, Helen Archer, said “As a full-time mum, I often play Radio 2 to pep up my daily kitchen routine. But when PopMaster comes on, things start to unravel.

“The male contestants usually kick off by pinning the blame for their failed haulage businesses on all the times they’ve been unsuccessful at getting on PopMaster.

“If a woman is on, she simply weeps for the duration of the questions. I can usually get through it by screaming ‘Katrina and the Waves’ non-stop until it’s over, which also usually gets me at least six points.

“But then the losing contestant asks for his shout outs. And it’s usually during the long pause between ‘all the guys from the showroom’ and ‘my wife, Pat’ that I reach for the Xanax.”

A BBC spokesman said:  “We aim to combat this by vetting phone-ins so people only get to speak if they have a truly gripping celebrity story and notable list of hellos.

“So, for next week’s PopMaster we’ve pencilled in Abu Qatadar against Janet Jackson.

“Abu says he’s got a great story about the time he stayed at the same hotel as Matt Cardle, and they’ve both promised not to swear so people can really just sit back and relax.”