Com­mu­nity spirit is so im­por­tant

Rutherglen Reformer - - Cllr Ann Le Blond -

Many of us have been watch­ing with in­creas­ing hor­ror at the loss of life at Gren­fell in London last week.

What seem­ingly be­gan as a man­age­able fire tore through the build­ing with dev­as­tat­ing speed and ter­ri­ble con­se­quences, en­gulf­ing the en­tire struc­ture in flames.

The most re­cent num­bers of those miss­ing are truly hor­rific, and the num­bers dead will surely only climb as in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue.

For any­one watch­ing the news in the early hours of the morn­ing of June 14, it was clear that the fire was go­ing to be a truly tragic event for those in the build­ing.

In the morn­ing – and days af­ter – it has be­come clear that the com­mu­nity have ral­lied to­gether to fight for those af­fected by the fire, and for their own com­mu­ni­ties for whom such a tragedy is a real and present risk.

In fact, the com­mu­nity re­sponse to the tragedy has seemed to out­strip that of lo­cal author­ity and central gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship.

Peo­ple have come to­gether not just be­cause they want to, but be­cause they have had to.

With num­bers of the miss­ing and un­ac­counted-for ris­ing, and the chain of de­ci­sions that led to the fire’s swift and dev­as­tat­ing spread not yet known, peo­ple are rightly an­gry.

They are an­gry not only for the many deaths at Gren­fell, but also for a sit­u­a­tion in which poorer com­mu­ni­ties are in­creas­ingly marginal­ized.

This tragedy is a stark re­minder of the lesser-re­ported in­jus­tices of poverty, poor hous­ing and home­less­ness that hap­pen ev­ery day up and down the UK.

The com­mu­nity spirit around Gren­fell has been matched at other ter­ri­ble events in re­cent months – with tragedies in both London and Manch­ester see­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties com­ing to­gether to sup­port each other through chal­leng­ing times.

We can be proud of these re­ac­tions, and hope­ful for our own com­mu­ni­ties when we see the la­tent good­will and sense of hu­man­ity that rises to the sur­face af­ter these tragedies, and we should look to fos­ter this spirit in our ev­ery­day lives as well.

Com­mu­nity spirit is per­haps most val­ued at times of cri­sis, but it can have an equally pos­i­tive – or even greater - im­pact when we ex­er­cise it as a habit.

We can each help our com­mu­ni­ties by get­ting in­volved, help­ing lo­cal ini­tia­tives and get­ting to know our neigh­bours.

When lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties put on fan­tas­tic events such as Lan­de­mer Day and Sum­mer­fest, it’s more than just a fun day out, or a boost to lo­cal busi­nesses, these events cre­ate and main­tain our sense of com­mu­nity and help build per­sonal re­la­tion­ships.

When we have a strong con­nec­tion with our area and those around us, we are more likely to give help when we can, re­ceive help when we need it, and more likely to stand up for our­selves and our neigh­bours.

And in re­cent weeks, we have seen the power com­mu­ni­ties can have when they stand up to give help to those who need it most.

These events cre­ate and main­tain our sense of com­mu­nity

Com­mu­nity minded Events like Lan­de­mer help fos­ter a com­mu­nity spirit

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