A lot of my earlier community work, starting from the turn of the new millennium, is discussed in my book, “Outside the Camp”, available as a free download from this website. One of my early activities was helping to arrange and run diversity events, which partly led to setting up the Southend Community-in-Harmony Partnership (SCHP). I coordinated its Big Event in the early years.
Compared with my earlier involvement, it has been a lot less in recent years, but I am pleased SCHP is still going strong. This year’s Big Event will take place in Priory Park, on Sunday 21st September, and looks as it will be worth a visit and even taking part. Details of what is being planned and how to get involved are included on the SCHP website. I am planning to be there the whole day, running stalls to do with my interests in faith and homelessness, and doing something I enjoy – meeting friends, old and new. In the meantime, I will be plugging the event and encouraging folk to take part. About how far my CinH involvement has affected me, while I am long way from being all sweetness and light, it has helped me to get know, learn to appreciate and work together with people of all shades of culture, background, opinion, and interest, and that is a good thing!
One of the features of the event that I particularly like is that it is aimed at the whole community. It really does cover the enormous cross section of Southend’s diverse community. There are lots of fun things to do, for young and old; it is a good place to find out what is happening in the community; there is live music and dance and nice food, and the whole event is entirely free. Given it is being held in a beautiful park, where there is a lot else to see and do, this provides an added bonus. Where else can you have such a great time and not have to spend money? Why not reserve this date as a family day out? By bringing together all sections of the community, trying to break down barriers, celebrating differences and raising understanding, the event attempts something much needed in today’s troubled world – helping to bring about a community in harmony.