“I Can’t Make a Difference”: Getting Involved in the Local Community

For a long time I’ve been interested in getting involved with my local community, even before we moved in July. I think a lot of the reason for it is in reaction to all the atrocities that the country has faced over the last couple of years. It’s been upsetting to watch to say the least, and it’s opened up in me a desire to reconnect at a grass roots level.

I mean, how many of us know our neighbours anymore? Not only do we not know them, a lot of us actively avoid them. We don’t talk to them, acknowledge them when we pass in the street, or hit them up for a spare cup of sugar. We’re disconnected entirely beyond our own front doors, and it makes me sad.

Meet New People

Since we moved I’ve been thinking even more about getting involved in the community. It seems like there’s no better time. Getting involved would be a great way to give something back, with the added bonus of meeting new people at the same time. You don’t have to look very far to find opportunities to get involved and meet new people. Your local library is usually a great place to start. At mine I found leaflets for everything from delivering library books to people unable to get out, becoming a friend to someone lonely, to volunteering at the local sensory garden.

On my hunt, I came across some information about our local WI which seemed like the ideal combination of everything I was looking for. So I’ve bitten the bullet and contacted them! The WI are known for doing so many good things within their communities. I’m really looking forward to having the chance to visit my local group and see what they’re all about.

Local Community. If there's any good at all to be taken from all the acts of sheer horror committed against our country over the last couple of years, it's that when push comes to shove we are a country filled with innate 'goodness'.

Do Good

If there’s any good at all to be taken from all the acts of sheer horror committed against our country over the last couple of years, it’s that when push comes to shove we are a country filled with innate ‘goodness’. There have been so many documented acts of pure selflessness during acts of terror. Whether it’s the staff at Café Brood getting people to safety during the London Bridge attack (June). Or Imam Mohammed Mahmoud who talked an angry crowd into calmly restraining a terrorist rather than kicking him to death after he drove his van at them (June). Or David Pethers who grappled with a knife wielding terrorist at a train station (Dec 2015). All of this horror has reminded me that I want to be part of the greater good.

Have Fun!

It probably comes as no surprise that I love a good event, especially when I’m allowed to get my teeth stuck in helping with leading the organisation! Event management and organisation is probably one of the biggest things I miss about my pre-kids career. There’s nothing like a good event to utilise all your skills, from the creative stuff to the financial planning and budgeting stuff. And what better excuse for a good old list?! (I mean, if you’re not an avid list-making fan then we might as well stop hanging out now.)

I’d love nothing more than to get really stuck in locally and organise a big event. I think it’d be a wicked chance to meet some new people, make a difference locally, and stretch myself a bit for the first time in a while. Plus Eventbrite make it so easy for nonprofit events to get noticed. I’m passionate about supporting children from difficult backgrounds and those in the care system so I’d love to do something for disadvantaged kids. Youth Action Wiltshire do a huge amount in this area, so they are another place I have contacted.

Why Bother?

My reasons for wanting to get involved in my local community are exactly as I’ve said. I want to give something back, meet new people, and have fun using the skills that parenting just doesn’t let me stretch. We live such busy lives, and we’re so disconnected despite living in a world that has never been more ‘connected’. Maybe I won’t make a difference, but maybe I will and that’s what counts.

This post was written collaboratively.

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