I have been working out in the community for the past week or so with a group of women that have decided to make a difference in the community they live in. Working with these women has restored my faith in the human race.
Three years ago they asked a very simple question “what can we do that would benefit the kids on the estate”. So they set about finding the answer to a question that has stumped many a regeneration expert for donkeys years.
They took the unprecedented step of asking them, which is a novel approach I know. So they made arrangements with the Headmaster of the local school and canvased every child in the school (even if they didn’t live on the estate).
The answer that came back was surprising. The kids didn’t want 50 inch plasmas or Games consoles, what they wanted mostly was “a nice place to live, with trees and flowers and stuff”.
So three years ago armed with £350 and a lot of hard work and the children from the school these women transformed a dark and dismal corner in the school grounds into a community garden that the children have looked after and taken great pride in ever since.
Since that project they have been responsible for planning and delivering a large scale development project that would scare the living daylights out of many a seasoned project manager.
They with the help from various agencies they have planted an orchard, a wild flower meadow and are about to put planters on the grass verges around the estate. Now I know many people out there will be saying well thats ok but the kids will just destroy them in no time, but somehow I don’t think so, the kids have invested to much time and effort in helping out.
Kids are at the centre of this project, they have helped plant more that 500 bulbs around the estate and have watched eagerly as the trees have been planted. These women have worked tirelessly with great humor and what’s more they don’t realise exactly what they have achieved.
They have done what most large organisations cannot do and that is mobilise and empower young people to make a difference and take pride in were they live and all that with a modesty that is amazing.
So ladies next time someone has a go at people for not wanting to get involved because it won’t change a thing, You have changed a very big thing, you have almost moved a mountain and you don’t realise it. I have been exhausted just watching you. I take my hat off to you, your community don’t know how fortunate they are!