When I look back on the last 6 months, it is still hard to believe all that happened. The over-riding feelings and emotions remain a sense of humility, hope, and pride.
The level of help and support we received from so many different people and organisations, in lots of different ways, was truly humbling. Although the weight of responsibility felt overwhelming at times, it was also a huge privilege to be at the very heart of an amazing collective effort. People came out of the shadows for others in their time of need.
My hope remains that on the back of such an emotional, heart-breaking period of time, people will take sufficient time to reflect on the many lessons learned. Better still, that we will ensure in our rush and desire to get back to normal, we don’t lose sight of what "normal" actually looked like and sadly remains (or has got worse) for many low income families battling to stay afloat, and in some cases to keep going.
The past 6 months have shone a light on some things we have allowed to become the accepted norm. How did we reach a point where food banks have become an accepted part of the fabric of our society? And we live in a world where sometimes we can be so quick to judge others less fortunate than ourselves?
For some people, connecting to a real sense of purpose, to "a feeling" of being a part of a genuine community effort has been an uplifting experience. We have been reminded of the joy to be found in giving and helping others, at a time when perhaps the direction of travel was one of greater division and divide. I do hope the spirit of kindness and compassion remains strong.
On a personal note, working with other like-minded people and organisations has helped to sustain me at times. From across all parts of society and walks of life. It reminded me that “none of us is as smart as all of us”.
As you would expect, and thanks to generosity of others, I am hugely proud of the role we have been able to play so far. The short films we have made can and will act as a permanent reminder of these unprecedented times and our collective efforts to make a meaningful contribution.
Our desire to help and efforts are now being re-directed, with our transition out of a full-blown food distribution hub well underway. We will continue to play an active role in tackling food insecurity in our local community through various actions and initiatives e.g. the launch of "Roots, Shoots and Scores" in partnership with Re-Think Food and some local Primary Schools.
In addition, we will continue to build on new relationships, deeper connections created with other local community groups and organisations these past 6 months.
We remain totally focused and committed on playing our part in working with others to help improve the quality of lives for people living in North Edinburgh. As ever, we truly believe each and everyone “is worth something”.
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Do take care,