Guest column: ‘We need to rediscover our community spirit’

We are living in difficult times and all of us will know of neighbours, relatives, senior citizens struggling to make ends meet.

By Bill Blackamore
Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 7:45 am
NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Wages are static but costs continue to increase, council services are being cut particularly to those people in the greatest need.

Some residents in our community are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Many things contribute to this state of affairs, illness, loss of jobs, redundancy, bedroom tax, debt, increase in costs of heating family breakdown are just some of the reasons while local people go hungry.

It is particularly bad for those who live alone and are isolated in their own homes.

It reminds me of my childhood following the end of the Second World War when things were very difficult and, like today, it was a time of austerity but people rallied round to support each other and whilst food was rationed compassion and kindness was abundantly available.

We need to rediscover this sense of community spirit and make a community response to these urgent needs, residents willing to lend a hand or the old fashioned concept of being a good neighbour.

The Foodbank movement is a good example of a positive response and the Bestwood and Bulwell Foodbank makes a very important contribution to supporting and helping to feed families and individuals at a time of need.

Likewise a few years ago Hucknall Youth House Mobile Project via Ann and Ken supported vulnerable young people by providing essential food parcels and toiletries.

Our society as changed in the last 50 years and as we became more affluent we also became more selfish.

In the past most residents were prepared to get involved and be players in creating a supportive and creative community.

Now the majority are spectators happy to watch the progress of others and criticise their efforts to make a difference.

They can see what needs to be done but just choose to sit there and do nothing and hope that someone else will do it. If and when they do they will be there to benefit from the efforts of others.