We don’t need to wait for the government to change things, we can make change happen ourselves by getting involved at a local level. The launch last week of the Eastbourne People’s Assembly encouraged us all to do just that!
As well as political campaigning, there are many charities and groups that are already working to make Eastbourne a better place to live. The Foodbank gives three days of emergency food to those in need. Mathew 25 and the Salvation Army feed the homeless. Edible Eastbourne aims to grow food in public spaces for all to share. Community Stuff arranges activities, events and cookery sessions.
The Real Junk Food Project want to save food from being wasted and offer it to all on a pay-as-you-feel basis. Furniture Now (soon to be the Now! Charity group) offers more than just recycled furniture these days. They upcycle furniture, arrange workshops on how to do it and have an office furniture department.
They also have a large training centre in Eastbourne where they run a varied programme of teaching and help people to get into work. Citizen’s Advice can offer help with rights, benefits and consumer issues and the Money Advice Service can help people struggling with debt. All of these groups and organisations help to protect the vulnerable in our town as well as offering the whole community opportunities to meet socially and work together. Many of these projects are run either partly or wholly by volunteers so there are lots of opportunities to help out and get involved. Of course if you have an idea to start a group or initiative locally – do it! 3VA is set up specifically to build stronger communities by supporting community groups and can give advice, training and networking opportunities.
They can help you get your project off the ground! The groundswell of British support for refugees recently caused a turnaround in government policy enabling 20,000 more refugees to come to the UK. This shows that if enough people work together we can make a difference. This Saturday, September 26, The Big Swap is taking place between 12noon to 5pm at Community Wise, Ocklynge Road, Old Town. If you want to get involved locally this will be a great event to head to as there will be ideas on swapping information, time and skills to make life easier, friendlier and cheaper! I’m hoping to start a volunteer bureau in Pevensey to help support local groups and have been toying with the idea of a tool swap.
Like I said, if you’ve got an idea just do it! If you want to tell me about your local organisation email me at ethicallifestyle.btinternet.com