Redefining the concept of charity

As you know I am someone who is adventuring along Hope’s pathway and asking a lot of questions along the way. One question that I am exploring is the concept of ‘charity’.

Charity implies philanthropy; giving something to someone as an act of kindness. And from charity has sprung the retail industry that is charity shops. However when unpicked, these are rather interesting. Because, although they support charities such as the RSPCA, Shelter etc finacially, I am not sure that many of the homeless clients that visit our food and clothing bank could afford a £10 coat from a charity shop, or even a £5 coat. The average maximum donation for the clothes we give away for free is £1, which is absolutley fine.

So many people like myself are able to buy lovely things in charity shops and many many people are not. So what is left? Not a lot really. So many people and I see this first hand, are walking around with shoes with holes in them and no coat.

Perhaps we need to look at this again. In these times of Covid, surely having sufficient clothing ie a Winter coat, is essential and decent footwear. Furthermore, having decent clothing for children is also esential.

I find it very interesting that the area where I live is an area of high social deprivation and yet the Covid figures are relatively low. I have begun to wonder about the reasons for this. One hypothesis is that as we have many food banks, maybe people are eating well enough to remain healthy and also as we are clothing people, maybe they are keeping warm. The food bankis do deliveries so that too is contributing to people being able to stay inside and keep warm.

Covid needs a holistic approach in my view; keeping shielded if needed, warm clothes and helathy nourishing food for adults and children. These are human rights. Covid is a virulent disease, but I feel there are ways to tackle it which involve wider issues than mere statistical information and local lockdowns.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider what charity means to you and think a little out of the box in regard to supporting your local community X

Journey into health

Today I want to write about a very important subject, particularly with the world focussing on the impact of coronavirus, health.

I want to be as healthy as I can, but not just in terms of my physical wellbeing. Health also includes mental wellbeing. So how does one achieve this? There is a saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ and I think this is true in many respects.

I think one of the first things to think about is diet. Am I eating too much? The right things? Enough fruit and vegetables? And in my case am I eating a balanced diet? And am I doing regular exercise?

Last year I fractured my scaphoid, which prevented me driving. So, for six weeks, I walked to work. I remember with fondness those walks by the sea, watching light splaying across water. I used to buy a nutri drink on the way, called a Gorilla Acai which contained spirulina. I was invigorated by the time I got to work and the pounds dropped off me.

A good diet and exercise brings hope, just because you feel good and look good too. I am not the best at this I must admit, but I hope to change things. This week I want to make a small start by using the exercise bike in my parents’ cabin, That will kick start me.

We don’t always achieve things instantly. Sometimes it takes a few goes before we start a proper exercise regime. However, small steps make great strides eventually. I remember someone I knew who started walking just a few yards and this then did some really long walks and looked fantastic.

So today’s recipe for hope is to consider whether we can make some changes in our diet and add some exercise in. This may be a short walk. For those who are battling sever mental health, you may just want to take a walk down the garden if that is all you can face, but it is a small start.

Have a healthy week X