Hope lies in us

Child poverty in the UK is significant. There are currently 4.3 million children living in poverty in our nation. So what can we do?

I started the journey of hope thinking about myself and almost a year later I am led to feel and carry hope for others. Because when there is darkness, there is also light. And when there is poverty there is also abundance. The Message tells us:

The community where I live (Thanet), has Kent’s highest rates of child poverty – with more than half of Newington’s under 18s living below the breadline. … The data for 2017/18, compiled by Loughborough University on behalf of coalition End Child Poverty, says 35% of children on the isle live below the poverty…14 Oct 2020

This is all rather bleak. However as I said earlier, there is an antidote which is hope. Running up to Christmas I want to celebrate the hope that is transformative. So today let’s celebrate.

There is a lovely professional gentleman who regularly supplies baby milk. Another woman who sent clothes to someone she had never met. A lady in her 70’s who offers her time and petrol to collect and deliver items donated to our community project. Two friends who gathered numerous items of clothing and drove miles to deliver it. Others who offer their time to telephone people who are feeling lonely and isolated. and countless kind people who have donated toys and beautiful items for children who otherwise probably wouldn’t have anything.

This adds up. This builds up. This is a hope tapestry, rebuilding a community smashed by a pandemic. This is beautiful.

Today’s recipe of hope is to think about child poverty and please do something about it. Even one tiny action has a ripple effect and if all of us act then things will change and our children will have a brighter future. Let’s be the hope carriers for them X

References

message.org.uk (accessed 16/12/22020)

child poverty thanet Google search (accessed 16/12/2020)

Where have you been?

I thought I would write a post as an explanation of why I have been silent for so long. I know when I started the blog my intention was that I posted every day for the year. And I haven’t managed to do that. Why?

I have learnt over the year that some things are more important than others. I think of the verse in the bible:

Donotstoreup for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. New American Standard Bible. (Matthew 6:19).

So what does this verse mean? The next part is the clue to the whole thing:

 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This time last year I had a beautiful flat. For reasons I do not wish to share I had to lay it down. And now all the rooms I carefully decorated and loved are in boxes, packed away in storage. How much did I need those things?

I have been working through the pandemic, with people, many of whom have literally nothing in their homes because their previous home was the street. I have seen numerous people queuing for food, facing the shame because shame is better than starvation. For me, Universal credit is the pandemic we are battling!

So my losses seem to mirror those of many in society who have nothing or very little. I have learnt this year that many people cannot afford milk for their babies or nappies for their children, in wealthy, prosperous Britain.

And so that is why I haven’t been blogging. Because I felt it was important to try to make Christmas better for some children who wouldn’t be getting any presents this year because their parents couldn’t afford to buy any.

So today’s recipe of hope is: Let us all count our blessings. And let us be mindful how we view material posessions because they can be snatched awy in a nanosecond X

References

do not store up treasure – Bing (accessed 15/12/2020)

Tales from the clothed with dignity project

My one rusty clothes rail has grown exponentially. Donations have poured in literally. Today, a lovely kind hearted solicitor asked me what we were in desperate need of. I said “baby milk”. He cam back shortly afterwards, balancing several cans on top of one another. What a star!

I have recently had several discussions about people exploiting the foodbank, taking too much or even seeling the clothes on. However I will not police this free service. People may take advantage, some give donations, others do not, but I do not want to start rationing out clothes. We have enough to go round and plenty more besides. So I am happy for people to just take free items, no questions asked. Because when some of our donations amount to 2p beause that is all someone can afford, I am not going to start policing our free service. If people want to stick a pric label on then they can give to a charity shop. This is a novel concept and I am sticking to it.

Today a whole box of tracksuit bottoms were put out on our ladies rail. And they all went by the end of the morning (as I knew they would. It poured with rain and still the people came in droves.

We have now given out over 1000 food parcels at the door in 14 weeks, since the foodbank opened. The situation is getting worse and our deliveries are growing weekly as word gets round.

The recipe of hope today is to please support your local foodbank or clothing bank. And if you have some spare clothes, you may like to leave them somewhere for people to take, perhaps on a tree, or a clothes rail. People are losing their jobs in this country and poverty is on the rise. Children are not getting enough food.

Let’s really look to support one another in practical ways X