I read a report on poverty the other day and thought I’d woken up in the wrong century! The report, from Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty, said that the UK is now facing “destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale”. Surely not? But yes, this is the reality of 21st Century Britain. From 2012 to 2013, Foodbanks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Among those helped, 126,889 were children. Today, there are over 400 food banks in the UK and a new one opens up every four days.
From 2012 to 2013, Foodbanks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Graeme McEwan, 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade
How do I feel about this?
Guilty, because others are in that position and I’m not? Yes.
But I don’t feel helpless.
Politicians don’t seem to be tackling the issue, but people up and down the country, and especially those in church communities, are volunteering every day to support the vital work that Foodbanks do.
This is an issue close to my heart. It’s also close to the hearts of the other 180 boys and Officers of the 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade. Over the last two years we’ve partnered, firstly with the Alloa Foodbank, and then with Start-Up Stirling, to help support people who are struggling to feed themselves and their families. We collect food for Start-Up Stirling on a regular basis, and help out with sorting, labelling, packing and loading food donations. This Winter, we also extended our support to Mary’s Meals, for the amazing work that they do, feeding young people in Malawi.
The impact and influence that young people have when they work in a positive way for the community is enormous. Graeme McEwan, 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade
Of course, as part of the family of the Church, it’s in our DNA to reach out to those who need our help most. But the biggest impact that we have, is in drawing the wider community into our activities, and encouraging others to support our work. The impact and influence that young people have when they work in a positive way for the community is enormous. Nothing can match their unbridled spirit, passion and enthusiasm – and it’s this that draws people in and encourages others to take action themselves.
If you run a Boys’ or Girls’ Brigade Company or other youth group and you’re involved in leading action and change in your community, why not share your experiences on this blog? Let’s celebrate what young people in the church are capable of, create a bit of momentum, and learn from each other’s approaches. Hopefully we’ll inspire even more people to make a real difference to the lives of those who need our help most.
Graeme McEwan, Officer
25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade
About 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade
25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade used Go For It funding to help purchase a minibus, to provide community transport to and from: local Groups, youth outings, national events, volunteering initiatives and charitable activities.