What is community?
Last Sunday a super group of people in my village organised what has become known as 'The Christmas Countdown'. This is essentially a fundraising event but also locals get a chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping, have a cup of tea and cake and catch up with friends. It has been running for a number of years and each year the organisers select different charities to support. This year we were supporting Alzheimer's Research UK and the representative gave an informative speech outlining some staggering facts. Did you know, for example, that... '1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. There are 944,000 people with dementia in the UK ' and ' the cost of dementia to the UK is currently £34.7 billion a year.' This means that most of us know someone who has been impacted by this horrendous disease.
The other charity being supported was a great charity called 'Holding Little Hands' - set up by a paediatrician, Hermione, several years ago seeing the need for distractions of all sorts for long-stay children in the Padua Ward of the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. I heard about some of the wonderful activities being planned to provide joy for the children.
RainbowLife set up a colourful stall alongside some fabulous local small businesses and, despite the heavens opening, local people turned out in droves to support this long-standing community event. Good fun was had by all, young and old alike.
10% of all sales was donated by all stallholders to the charities. The small businesses gained some publicity too whilst also contributing to the charities. What a great concept.
This is what community is all about.
And in the words of the activist, Coretta Scott King..
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members"