The community response around the country since Thursday’s MP vote in the commons has been unbelievable; nowhere more so than in our community. When Taylor’s chip shop decided late on Thursday to offer 100 meals to young people they were inundated with offers of support. Standing with Marcus Rashford, Friday saw even more businesses take a stand. We now have groups & individuals offering help and websites linking people together.
It’s not something we are strangers to. Since March, we have seen our community come together like never before. As individuals, they have stood together to form a collective where I honestly believe that everyone can have someone to lean on. But what strikes me is how good it feels to be at the heart of this. How good it feels to give. And how privileged I am to be able to do it.
Over the last few days we have seen lots of offers of help with caveats, and today, tons of pictures of smiling adults handing over food to bewildered kids. I believe we are missing something with our giving. We should be offering hope in addition to food. Our community should all have full tummies and the opportunity to feel how good giving is. And we all know this isn’t about money. Time, skills, experience, a voice! These are all things people can give but do we set our systems up to encourage that?
So next time Starting Point think about immediate support like the stuff we have been doing for months now, I am going to look at Lacey and her brothers and work out how they get to have a role in the process. By listening to young people we will begin to understand their concerns and their hopes for the future. They may even show us how to do it.
So now, I urge people to give food, compassion and the ability to act.
Power “the ability to act”.