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  • What Does Harvest mean to us in 2015 ? - from the mouths of babes..

    Travelling the length and breadth of Rossendale listening to the Loves, concerns Dreams and ideas of children and people from 33 nurseries, schools, churches, community groups as well as individuals over this past month have made me reflect on what harvest means in 2015.

    The obvious and most evident meaning is the restocking of the shared community store of food and essential items that enable neighbouring to be maintained throughout the year.

    This enables any one of us living in Rossendale who experiences hardship over the coming months to have a place to turn ensuring no adult or child goes hungry and can instead focus on dealing with the underlying problems that are resulting in food poverty.

    Loneliness, illness, worklessness, redundancy, homelessness, family breakdown, sudden unforeseen essential bills particularly within a low wage economiy with more than average reliance on zero hour contracts and self employment , as well as benefit changes and sanctions underpin the requests for help through the food bank service 52 weeks of the year.

    Empty shelves have now been replenished with additional stock ensuring volunteers have items to share with neighbours in times of hardship over the coming months. But what else has this harvest delivered?

    From the mouth of one 5 year old I was moved by not only his insight but how beautifully he shared his thoughts and feelings.

    - It isn't fair he said . If people can't afford to eat how can they hold their head up and see what is around them ?

    What a sage young man reminding us all of the importance of being able to look up and see what is around us - this includes the ability to see and focus on opportunities, solutions, connections , each other, our family and neighbours. Isn't this an essential part developing healthy people, neighbourhoods and communities, of promoting hope, joy, dreams, aspirations and action that turns those dreams in to reality.

    Addressing inequalities and injustice is the cornerstone of developing healthy societies where every person can grow and develop in to the healthy and unique individual they have the potential to be.

    This 5 year old's concerns about the injustice and effects on people of not being able to even meet the basics of feeding themselves and their family I hear as a challenge to harvest every opportunity to listen to each other, focus on solutions and take action towards building the sort of world he and children like him want to grow up in

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