Energised by Community

It was only 4 hours of my time. 4 hours where I gave up a bike ride, a dog walk, spending time with my family or playing football with George.  Turning up at a local church in Hartlepool with 4 pairs of scissors, a packet of cakes, the aforementioned George and my car.
Turning up the road to see it lined with cars, with boxes with people. And inside, this;

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Mountains of stuff, donated, collected, waiting to be sorted;  people busying and organised community spirit.
In four hours I was privileged to be a tiny cog in a large engine that will have taken a lorry load of aid to the refugees in Calais. In four hours I was acting like others in community, acting in response to the plight of thousands of people for which four hours might be the time it takes to walk 15 miles across eastern europe, or travel across the med.
Communities of compassion, stoked by images, enthused by hope, gathered by one of most positive uses of social media since the dawn of facebook, determined and encouraged to make the lives of other humans better.
In four hours I sorted bags of clothes,  moved bags of clothes, and took 2 car loads of stuff to the depot awaiting collection.

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This was one container after a days work. There’s so much more.

Compassion and the small acts of kindness from a lot of people is going a very long way.
Communities of compassion , energised by hope, in the UK.

Just incredible and thank you.

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Author: James

Currently I work part time for both Frontier Youth Trust (www.fyt.org.uk) and Communities Together Durham (www.communitiestogetherdurham.org) and am also self employed and do various aspects of youthwork consultancy, including training, writing, lecturing, seminars and written pieces, including organisational consultancy, community profiling and detached/youthwork training. Please do get in touch if I can be of help to you in your church, project or organisation to develop your youth and community work. I have contributed to 'Here be Dragons (2013), and two recent articles in the youth and theology journal and 'ANVIL' the CMS online journal. My recent employment includes, working for FYT as a youthwork development adviser, being the centre director at Durham YFC, and before this I was known as 'Mr Sidewalk' as I was the project coordinator for the Sidewalk Project in Perth, where I facilitated the delivery of 5 years of detached youthwork on the streets, schools and communities to engage with young people , and support through alcohol misuse issues. In 2017 I completed an MA in Theology & Ministry at St John's College, Durham, and in 2008 graduated from ICC (now NTC Glasgow) with an honours degree in youth work with Applied theology.

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