Sowing Seeds: The Project – Send Messages Of Support + Friendship To People Struggling During Lockdown

Hey all ✨  My family and I have just launched our new project and we need you to get onboard!

On our challenge of driving round the coastline of the UK living on a tenner a day, we spent time with some incredible projects who are at the heart of their local communities – supporting elderly people, people struggling with their mental health, young carers, families with whose kids have additional needs, etc. These community projects are relied on by many as a place to support one another and be supported, but of course the virus has thrown a spanner in the works and many people’s lifelines have suddenly been cut off, leaving them isolated and really struggling.

We’ve teamed up with some of these amazing community projects, and are still looking to team up with many more, to start Sowing Seeds, a project all about sowing seeds of hope, offering a hand of friendship to the families and individuals these projects support and showing that there are people all over the country who care.

As a gesture of friendship, we’re going to be sending out sprouting jars – a garden on the windowsill – filled with seeds, goodies and things to keep you busy, because watching a seed grow into something you can eat is such a positive and exciting experience for all ages and shouldn’t be limited by your circumstances. The jars will also be full of messages of support, unity and human connection from us and from anyone who wants to show that they care.

You can send us a message (long or short) via email (graciechick29@gmail.com) social media (we’re one life share it on Facebook and Instagram or you can DM me on insta at gracie.chick) and we’ll write it out and pop it in one of the jars. If you’re UK based, you can send a letter/drawing in the post. Our address is – Wapsbourne Manor, Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QT

We’ve also set up a Go Fund Me page where you can sponsor a jar, all in all they cost £15 each but you can donate any amount from £1 to £1000 and it will all go towards delivering parcels full of goodies and messages of friendship to doorsteps all over the UK.

We’re all isolated, but that doesn’t mean anyone should have to feel alone. We can beat this together. Please get onboard and show you care. Also SHARE SHARE SHARE with all your friends and family!!

To find out more about us as a family, our challenge and some of the awesome community projects we’ve connected with, go check out our website here – CLICK HERE

GO FUND ME PAGE LINK HERE – CLICK HERE

This is what some of the jars will look like 👇👇

Cant wait to receive all your messages of friendship and support to those finding lockdown really tough!! Thank you so much guys. Take care xx

 

 

 

 

“We Built A Farm In A Week” – musings from your resident reluctant teenage farmer

“You built a farm in a week!” our neighbour laughs as he drives past the once abandoned donkey pen, small dusty yard and strip of disused grass that is now home to a polytunnel, ten happy chickens, a veggie patch with a neat fence, tidy piles of manure and compost, a tea station and seats, water tanks recycled into growing beds and tools stacked in a corner. He’s right, with a bit of thought, teamwork and effort, we have built a mini farm in seven days. But why? None of us are farmers, or even gardeners. This year we had planned to travel the UK spreading the message of the necessity of community, bridging social divides, giving talks and hosting CommuniTea events. 

But then everything changed for everyone and, over the space of a week, the Coronavirus transformed me into a spade wielding, fence building farmer. Trust me, I know absolutely nothing about growing food or keeping chickens and, to be honest, I’m not particularly interested in agriculture or animals. However, I am interested in being in control of my own life and taking power into my own hands to make sure my family and community have enough food to eat. I’d have laughed at you if you’d said to me three weeks ago that I’d now be spending the foreseeable future digging through mud and composted horse poo, I’d have told you that I am a young person who writes important articles about social change and rewiring society – definitely not some green fingered gardener. But now society is being rapidly rewired whether we like it or not, and things have changed, maybe just not in the way we’d expected. Through our week-long ‘farming journey’ I’ve realised that none of us are powerless to make positive changes in the world. Especially since most, if not all, of those changes begin in our own lives. 

Often, the most powerful thing we can do is let our everyday actions speak louder than our words. As the many ordinary people we’ve met who are making a difference in their communities demonstrate, we can’t wait for or rely on anyone else to change things for us and at the moment, we need food, and so I am currently a change-making youth voice doing the most powerful thing I can do right now – getting stuck in growing vegetables and providing for my family and community. A week ago we were staring out at an empty, deserted yard, just trying to envisage what it would even look like if we built all this stuff we were talking about and now we have created an incredible and useful space which will soon (hopefully) yield delicious fresh vegetables and eggs. 

Because we are growing some of our own food, it also means we won’t have to take money from the government. At the moment they are giving out financial aid left, right and centre to keep this country afloat and if they continue to shell out to everyone who is entitled to it, the government will collapse entirely – meaning those who really, desperately need the help will not get it. However, if we all took only what was necessary and those of us who can provide for ourselves make the decision to do so, as well as those of us who have excess sharing with those who don’t, together we could stop our society falling into ruin and build a system based on sharing, support and community at the same time. In this system no one would be at a disadvantage because we are all just human beings with an equal capacity to share and connect. We wouldn’t go hungry because we’d share with one another. I’ll share the food I grow on my mini farm with you, but I’ll also show you how to grow your own, whether you’ve got a tiny corner or fields and fields, then maybe you’ll share what you grow with me. Or maybe you can teach me something in return?

Not everyone can grow their own food, but everyone can be part of a system based on sharing. And the part we have to play, as those who are able to, is to take only what we need and to give what we can. Through one simple empowered act such as growing some food, we have become part of positive change. 

Much like our choice to start farming, being part of the change is a choice every one of us can make in our own lives. It will not be a political shift or one led by any kind of leader, but a revolution of ordinary people choosing to care for one another. We’ve already seen the incredible potential we have to support each another in the face of this crisis, why stop when it ends? Why not use that connection to build a better world? 

You may think that sharing is against our human nature and that we could never shake the overriding desire to get as much as we can for ourselves and then defend it, that any other system is a dreamers idealism, but I think that this crisis has proved what we will do to support one another in our times of need in order for us all to survive. Our world will not go back to normal when this is over, we will have to rebuild it and, during that process, we will need each other more than ever. 

So I have a message for you as I dig my way through this pile of soil – do whatever you can to be part of positive change and share whatever you can too, for like when you plant seeds, you will receive tenfold.

Community In The Face Of Crisis – Why Should This End When The Coronavirus Does?//Discussion Post

images from Pinterest xx

What does an ideal world look like? I’m aware that this question sounds like something you’d ask yourself at 1am as you ponder everything we’re surrounded by and think of everything that ‘could be’, or as some sort of daydream or maybe a game where you get to design a virtual ‘perfect’ world as an escape from reality.

An ideal world is not perfect, but what if it could be real? Imagine if someone hit reset and we got to build the world we want to live in. Imagine if every single one of us – young or old, rich or poor – had a part to play in that because we all have wisdom, skills and ideas to contribute.  At the moment, amongst the chaos, it’s almost like that reset has happened. We are no longer ploughing confidently forward the same way we have always done. When I opened my social media this morning and every morning for the last couple of weeks, it was flooded with offers of help and support for those in need, incredible acts of kindness, neighbours speaking to one another for the first time, meals being cooked for elderly strangers, bags of shopping left on doorsteps, people sharing what they’ve got with others – positivity, hope, unity. The Coronavirus has stopped us all dead in our tracks and given us a new perspective on life, one where we suddenly realise it’s not all about what we can get, but what we can give as well and, consequently, what we receive from giving. 

After this, things will not be the same as before and we have to start building our society back up. That’s just the facts. But we all have a choice as to the world we want to rebuild, the world we want to live in and the world we want our children and grandchildren to live in. Do we all suddenly stop supporting our communities and sharing our lives or do we continue to see the necessity for connection? Do the local Facebook groups we’ve set up to see if anyone needs anything fall into disuse? Do we stop checking in on our friends to make sure they’re okay and have someone to talk to? Community is the most powerful resource we have in a crisis and we are rising to the occasion because of the coronavirus situation, but there is an ongoing mental health crisis too, a climate crisis, a crisis amongst young people with little hope for the future, let’s come together in our communities to fight these catastrophes too because they don’t end when the Coronavirus does. 

The virus has delivered us right to the first step of rebuilding our world to make it a better place for us all – equality. When we’re all facing the same threat, we all have the same purpose – to defeat it – and I think we’re starting to realise that pulling apart in different directions, panicking and getting as much as we can for ourselves alone gets us nowhere and instead we must pull together. When we’re struggling to get food no matter how much money we have, it brings us all into equal standing and from there we can move forward. In a world that values community and human connection over money and materialism, we have to work together and no one is at a disadvantage because we’re all just human beings with an equal capacity to share and connect. 

A few days ago, I saw that a woman who was self isolating had posted a photo of a huge load of food that had been left on her doorstep, bags of dried fruit, beans and tubs of tahini. She explained that a few years earlier she had helped a family of refugees from Syria settle in her neighbourhood and today they had brought round all this food, as well as dropping the same round for this woman’s elderly parents. They had both provided for one another when the other was in need, a partnership so deep and connected that no communication was needed. A friendship built on sharing that crosses social divides. I truly believe that kindness is the currency that can make our world so much richer.

There was also a story recently about a man who is anonymously buying his entire village a takeaway every week during lockdown. What has changed so drastically that someone would be prepared to spend so much providing for the community around them and supporting local businesses just because he’s fortunate enough to have the funds to do so? I don’t know about you, but that is the world I want to live in – a world where those who have excess share with those who don’t, not to be seen as some kind of hero but because they believe in a system built on sharing what we can. 

We can create this world, I promise. It’s very different from the one we live in now, but even in recent days we are beginning to see what it might look like simply in our changing attitude towards others and what is valuable to us. It may seem impossible and faraway, but it starts within us and our lives and the choices we make now. If we panic buy and lock ourselves away and surround ourselves with enough food to last us maybe…four months, what are we gonna do when that four months is up and we run out? Or whether we take what we need for now, make sure everyone in our community has enough, take the initiative to grow what we can, support others and have them support us, invest, build something, create something –  a livelihood, a community, a future. 

We weren’t really connected with many of our neighbours when this situation began, everyone was going about their own business, a lot of new people had moved in since we’d been away and I hadn’t even seen many of them to say hi. So we decided to set up a Facebook group for the immediate area. We put a post on offering to help out wherever we could, cook extra food for anyone who needed it (this was before stricter measures were put in place) and be there if anyone was struggling with their mental health and needed someone to talk to. Suddenly loads of local people started posting on there, just little things but all things that are strengthening our community – people organising teams to dig in the garden, someone picking up some shopping, online resources being shared, seeds being exchanged, excess food being distributed, thoughts and musings shared. 

All over the world people are taking their garden fence panels down so that they can talk to their neighbours whilst both safely in their own gardens. When all of this is over, let’s not put those fences back up again, let’s not reinforce the things that divide us, let’s not forget the conversations we had and the jokes we shared over the garden fence and how we got through the hard times together.

you're all i have left;

It shouldn’t take a global virus to show us how necessary connection really is, but that’s the way it’s happened. Our humanity has been our most valuable resource for a long time. Look at how indigenous people all over the world live their lives, in harmony with each other and the world around them, what do they value? Money and possessions? No, its community that binds them together, their commitment to one another and their total, unwavering unity. We are social beings to our core and we need each other. 

We all need to start talking about what this new world is going to look like. Even the beginning doesn’t work without sharing – sharing ideas, sharing thoughts, sharing conversations, connecting. We need to put everything we have on the table and figure out what works and what doesn’t. We all have experiences of what community feels like to live with or without. We have our own backgrounds and cultures and valuable lessons we can share from ancient ways of doing things. We have friendships and connections that we can bring forward and strengthen. We have solutions to problems. We have wisdom and life lessons. Between us, we have quite a lot of material and financial gain that we could put to good use. We’ve got skills to share and exchange, things to teach one another. We have people who plan, people who discover, people who care for others, people who can create, people who can build, people who can dream, people who can express, people who can organise, people who can lead, people who are fair, people who take the initiative, people who motivate, people who comfort, people who raise others up, people who support, people who carry on no matter what, people who are smart, people who invent and reinvent, people who feel things deeply, people who fight for what’s right and, in this new world, we’re gonna need you all equally. 

shout-out to my absolute favourite movie of all time x

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Heyy everyone, I hope you’re all staying home and staying safe ❤️ Reminder that I’m here for any one of you at any time if you need anything 😊 We are the voices that will lead us into a new world, but we can’t do it alone.  So we need to start a dialogue about what our future is going to look like…..starting now! Comment your thoughts below and please feel free to discuss  with one another👇