In my last blog post which was…31st March I said that working out loud doesn’t come naturally to me and it was something I was going to have to work very hard at. I wasn’t kidding. When I returned from maternity leave I eased myself into working life gently. I had a lot more time for thinking and but very quickly a few curve balls brought me back to reality with a bump. I am committed and that is why i’m here writing an update from the passenger seat of the car, kids asleep in the back whilst we drive up North to see family.
It has been a while, there was the small matter of growing a baby and then keeping said baby happy for the last 7 months. But yesterday I found myself back in the comfortable saddle of work and it was like i’d never been away. Except I have, and instead of being responsible for one little human I am now responsible for two…
Whilst on maternity I have had some time to reflect and think. And there has been a lot to think about in 7 short months the UK voted out of Europe, Trump voted in and our news is dominated with the horrors that are still taking place in Syria, Yeomen to name but a few. Some days the world feels like a very scary place, unsafer, more worrying. And I probably do worry a lot more now because I have these two small people to consider.
Communities and social media has played a massive part in the outcomes of some big events and over the course of 2017 we will see and hear more through our mediums of choice. At times i’ve felt incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated and as someone with a huge social media footprint i’ve found my timelines bombarded with desperation, negativity and anger from all sides of the political spectrum. I’ve seen friends, families and work colleagues fall out as individuals wear their heart on their sleeve when it comes to their political persuasion.
At the beginning of the year I made a resolution of sorts and that was to be more thankful. I wanted to try and cancel out some of the negativity with positivity. I wanted to put it out there to the universe that I am thankful for the big things, the little things and everything in between.
So i’d like to put it out there that I am thankful for meeting some wonderful new people in 2016. One in particular inspired me to explore my creativity and turn on my sewing machine. So when the world outside is feeling all too much I explore a new community i’ve immersed myself in, as I start to get to grips with the basics of sewing and take on some new personal projects.
I am also thankful to be able to get back to a job I enjoy very much and I hope I am able to continue sharing my community experiences with you through 2017.
A number of people have asked me why I am doing this trip…there are two reasons, one “because I can” I am very fortunate to work for a company (https://www.facebook.com/pearsonplc) that allows me to donate 4 days to volunteer so that’s been used up today and 3 days next week.
And of course I have a very supportive husband, he’s been roped in to help with the sorting and packing and will look after our 2 year old over the 3 days i’m gone.
And two because when I saw the pictures of Aylan Kurdi in the arms of a police officer it moved me, I couldn’t get his lifeless body out of my head, I then went through the motions of getting my son ready for nursery and whilst I zipped up his jacket, I started to think about the children arriving on the continent in t-shirts and shorts, no shoes or just a pair of sandals – Europe is not a warm place to be in Winter and they have nothing…something inside me snapped and I felt like I needed to do something.
Gillian and I set the wheels in motion to start planning our trip, we set up our https://www.gofundme.com/qa3f3vv4 page (there is still time to donate) and the obligatory facebook page(https://www.facebook.com/wordsandwarmthreliefrun). My mind shifted to my wedding and pending honeymoon but the challenges these people faced remained at the forefront of my mind, except now it was getting even colder and the numbers seemed to be getting more and more, whilst support and guidance from the various European governments was weaning.
If you want to understand why this has become something I had to do then please watch this short video from Save the Children.
This video is a stark reminder, it could be anyone of us in this situation. And the people who are fleeing Syria and other war torn countries in their thousands, millions with their children, their elderly parents/grandparents are fleeing something so terrifying – jumping on a boat in the dead of night and believing God will see them to safety is their only option for a future, yet that isn’t where the struggle ends. They’re now persecuted along the path they take through Europe, treated like animals and if they’re lucky they get to pay to be in what is essentially a prison under the guise of a refugee camp.
What Gillian Seely, Joe and I are doing is something so very very small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things but we hope it will help a few hundred people and give them some warmth, some hope and some strength to go on the journey.
Some wonderful ladies have helped us immensely by co-ordinating collections, sorting and packing of donations. Mirus-IT have donated their van and so many of you donated through my sons nursery and directly at our house today – for this we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To those of you who have donated cash through https://www.gofundme.com/qa3f3vv4 please be assured your money will go directly to those that need it most along our journey. We have the means to find out the hot spots that need aid and will use the network of volunteers and support to guide us to make an informed decision on where to go. Please follow our page to keep up to date with our journey and please share our page.
Socius means companion, you can’t have a community without other people so it makes sense to put these two words together to describe what it is I do. Since I was a child i’ve built communities, I ran sports days for my neighbours kids when I was 10 on my front garden. I was involved in everything and anything that involved people throughout school and university.
Building communities makes me happy and I believe communities make a difference. My life revolves around multiple communities in person, online, at work, in my personal life all across the globe. For some time i’ve wanted to write about communities and i’ve finally taken the first step. I’ve set this blog up so I can share my ideas, passion and experience, I hope I can inspire others to create communities too.
I’m a working mummy, I work at Pearson as Global Community Director and i’m mummy to a 20month old little boy, William.
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