One of the key learning points from the pandemic for many people is that Community Matters.
The poet John Donne wrote: 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’
We think many people would resonate with that today. Human beings are not meant to be in isolation from each other and we’ve seen how the impact of being isolated and not connected in community, has brought to the surface a range of mental, emotional, physical, social and even spiritual difficulties for people. It is not then surprising to note, that for many people, the first priority after the easing of restrictions has been to reconnect with friends and family and become community again.
The pandemic has also brought to the forefront many key social issues including poverty, racism, mental health and wellbeing, but there has also been renewed emphasis on the effects of climate change and the disastrous impact on the environment if as individuals and community we don’t take action now. Many of these issues have always been there. However, with restrictions creating new challenges and concerns and people having more time to think and reflect, there is a renewed energy towards challenging and changing the injustices that exist in society and the negative impact people’s actions can have on our world.
Community really does matter and we’ve seen great examples from people like Marcus Rashford, Amika George and the late Sir Captain Tom going that extra mile (Sir Captain Tom literally!) to emphasise the importance of addressing key issues within community, encouraging unity and collective responsibility. I’m sure you will be able to call to mind many local heroes within your own communities and examples of people looking out for and supporting each other. Here at the Youth Trust, we’ve seen some great examples of young people in our schools stepping out into action to serve and support others in their communities over this last year.
As part of our commitment to supporting schools and young people to develop in leadership and character and to know what it means to serve others in community, we are excited to announce our brand-new free resource called Community Matters.
Available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 there are two packs focusing on Social Issues and Environmental Issues with a range of activities designed to ignite, inspire and empower young people to make community matter and explore what it means to live in the wider world, as active citizens. How can they play their part in rebuilding communities? Each pack also contains ideas for collective worship.
Whether you are already running the Young Leaders Award or not, the resources provide great supporting ideas for helping pupils develop in leadership and character. The resources and activities are flexible to use as you wish within school. You may do one or two activities with pupils, you may do all of them, but are hope is that young people will gain further understanding of why community matters and the role they can play to ‘be the change they want to see’. As we say to our Key Stage 1 children, ‘small steps can make big changes’. I believe this is a message for us all, let’s make community matter!
Find out more here.