Well, it’s finally arrived – the last day of the campaign. I can’t quite believe this day has come, it feels like it has been on the horizon forever.
For me it has been a whirlwind of visits to some really fantastic social action projects, which have all given me an insight into how committed and enterprising us Brits can be. This is especially when it comes to rallying around to solve some of society’s most difficult issues.
Whether it’s the Passage Homeless Centre in London, Caring for Life in West Yorkshire, the Lads and Girls Club in Bolton, or Bookdonors in Selkirk, each employee, whatever their role, seems to go the extra mile to ensure their organisation makes that vital difference.
During the campaign I’ve chatted to volunteers and staff from community groups, charities, community interest companies and social enterprises and have learnt a lot about how they differ in terms of funding and how they are run.
To be honest, the jargon was sometimes confusing for a novice like me, but once I cut through it I realised that what’s important is the passion, flexibility and risk-taking nature of these social action projects. They seem to be very reactive and can turn things around quickly to provide help where it is most needed.
The most important lesson I learnt from my Social Action tour was that local people do have the solutions and the appetite to solve local issues is huge – the Big Society can become a reality. In fact, I was reading earlier today that a PoliticsHome survey found the majority of people (55%) would like more community involvement in improving the quality of life in Britain, and only 20% said they would not have the time to get involved.
A number of civil society organisations have signed a letter to support the role that Social Action and civil society plays now and should play in the future. They definitely have my support too.
Thanks for reading my Social Action blog posts over the past few weeks. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.