I have often talked about collaborating and the benefit a community can gain from building close ties to work together towards a better community. Sometimes that needs to be driven and pushed forward. Often in the creation of something it is the drive and determination of a few people who carry others along to create something amazing. I give you three example:
Space2Create is a good example of this. Eight/nine years ago a good friend of mine Jo and myself were in a charity that was struggling to survive amidst budget cuts and funding from statutory bodies being withdrawn. As volunteers who had been service users we appreciated how creative activity had helped us recovering and saw the same in those around us. We started an art group called WellArt which met once a week. When the charity closed that group formed the basis of creating S2C but it was Jo and I pushing it, bringing on board a small core to form the trustees of the new charity. These sam people drove S2C on to grow and reach where we are now and that same core (with additions as we grow) pushes us on to bigger and better things..
I see that same drive and care in other organisations. In Kendal the Peoples Volunteer Café takes unwanted food donated from local shops and people then turns into meals for local people, many struggling to afford to feed themselves or their families due to unfortunate circumstances. Helen had the vision and again a small team was created to drive the idea through with passion and belief. The People’s Café currently run on Saturdays serving lunch at the Foyer next to the Bus Station. They would very much appreciate your support, time and food donations.
Another Kendal based organisation, Creative Arts, does amazing work supporting adults with disabilities through creative activity. Lana has driven this with a dedicated team around her building this from a small group to the Creative Arts Hub in the Westmorland Shopping Centre and delivering some amazing community projects.
All three organisations share a common thread of that driving force of a dedicated team with an individuals passion for what they are doing at the core. We all need similar things too. Volunteers, resources, space, support from local authorities, funding, presence, advice, admin…….the list goes on. What is great between the three organisations is that we are increasingly working together. Sharing volunteers, people who volunteer for two or more of the organisations. Sharing skills and knowledge. Sharing resources. Most importantly sharing support so that none of us is ever isolated and alone.
Working together we can build better communities reaching out to the different people who need help for all the different reasons and providing them what they need to keep going at their most difficult times. I celebrate all three organisations and look forward to working ever more closely with each other.
Some of the artwork from this week: