Emma Richardson: How amazing are we all at coming together to support other people?
- Credit: Archant
In her latest column, Exmouth author Emma Richardson highlights how good people are at coming together
Let me tell you a few things about me and Exmouth. I wasn’t born here, didn’t grow up here - in fact until I was in my mid-20s I’d never really registered Exmouth’s existence.
On making the decision to study a PGCE, I knew nothing more than I needed to move out of London to study somewhere that the cost of living was manageable.
It was literally pot luck that I chose Exmouth’s Rolle College, but boy am I glad that I did!
The community of Exmouth has really excelled itself in the last couple of years and we should quite rightly, be collectively proud of ourselves.
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Oh, I know there’ll always be the complaints about the campervans, the annual dogs on the beach debate and, like any town, we have our fair share of unruly behaviour at times but... how amazing are we all at coming together to support other people?
Take, for instance, the Exmouth Friends In Need group.
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Started by the lovely Claire Austin simply as a way to help struggling families, this Facebook group has grown to almost 7,000 members- people who donate goods, food and time to helping others less fortunate.
Through these generous donations, the now-registered charity has helped hundreds of local families.
Recently, another local kindness has been brought to my attention.
The Gingerbread House Café in Budleigh have started a ‘pay with a Post-it’ initiative.
Customers are encouraged to pay the price of an extra coffee if they can afford to, which is then put on a board in the form of a Post-it Note token.
These tokens are for anyone who has had a tough time this year to exchange at the counter for a free coffee and The Gingerbread House themselves started it off by buying the first ten.
This is such a generous gesture in such financially difficult times.
At its heart is the ‘pay it forward’ principle - do a good deed for someone else and they will feel inspired to do a good deed for another person.
Charity is a tricky area; I don’t have the means to support all the good causes I would like to, however small gestures can mean so much to someone else.
It might be that in supporting the Post-it scheme in Budleigh, you are providing somebody with the only hot drink of their day, or their only opportunity to get out and see other people.
If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s to be grateful for the small things in life.
Let’s channel this positivity - what could you do to pay it forward today?