I THOUGHT I had drawn the short straw this summer when I drew a challenge to create a community garden out of a lucky dip for MPs on “Make a Difference Day”. “Where am I going to find the time to do that?!”I thought.
However, I was inspired by Claire Young, who came second in ‘The Apprentice’ in 2008, and whose motto is ‘Just Do It!”. Her energy is an inspiration to many, so I was delighted to find her giving her time and expertise, helping to launch this year’s Community Service Volunteers’ Make a Difference Day. I also met record producer and songwriter Pete Waterman. Pete has had a long and successful career in the music industry. I was impressed that he too wanted to give something back to the community.
This year’s campaign focused on a wave of small ‘kindness acts’ as a way of bringing communities together. So I organised my own way of making a difference in the constituency last Saturday, when I helped to turn a piece of scrubland into a garden around the foot of a tower block, providing sheltered accommodation to the elderly in Chelmsley Wood.
This scheme involved the staff and clients at WELCOME, a local charity, which supports people seeking to rebuild their lives during or after a period of drug misuse. Partners in the gardening project included Solihull Community Housing, Safe and Sound Service (The Supporting People Service) and residents of Woodbrooke House. Donations included money from Birmingham Airport, and 20 shrubs and an apple tree from Ryton Organic Gardens.
If this inspires you to try help out where you live, then consider contacting a local charity to offer your time to “Make A Difference”. Call the Make a Difference Day free hotline on 0800 284 533 or visit their website at www.csv.org.uk/difference.