A Call for Help

Since January this year, the Acocks Green Food Bank has been visited by those in need. We have new people showing up every few weeks, trying to make ends meet, and all in unique and challenging circumstances, looking for help.

Because of this growth, we have been short of stock for food, and are also in need of volunteers to help out. I am reaching to people to kindly donate (time or food) to the Acocks Green Food Bank. A little goes a long way, and training will be provided (for volunteers) and 2 large bags of food will fill 4 grace packs (for 4 clients).

We welcome everyone through the door, offer tea, coffee and toast (free) and enjoy a conversation and have a laugh around the table. We’re open twice a week; Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-12pm.

We accept (and are in need of…):

  • Tinned foods
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toiletries (including loo roll, shower gel, tooth paste, etc)
  • Baby food and baby products (powdered milk, nappies, etc)
  • Carton milk
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Sugar

 

If anyone is interested in volunteering at the Acocks Green Food Bank, we extend a warm welcome to you too! Come and spend a few weeks with us and see what commitment you’d like to make.

 

Many thanks in advance an much love to you all ❤

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Most important life lessons my beloved mum taught me <3

 This blog post is a request from a couple of people who asked me to write about the life lessons my mum taught me following a few wonderful conversations on life with a work colleague and friend. There’s a lot of overlap between some of the lessons, and will link each one as I go through them. In no random order, here they are!

 

1)  Have Faith

Since I was a child, I have been raised in the Catholic faith, which has been tried and tested over the years. From what I have learned by keeping to my faith, is that prayers are answered, miracles happen, and your faith is stronger than before! Everything will always be ok (and God is watching over us).

 

2)  Be kind. Always

I cannot state the importance of kindness! Show it to everyone you meet! It is free, and makes the world a much better place! One act of kindness or a kind word can stay with someone for a long time, and you’ll be remembered for it. You can single handedly make a massive and positive difference to someone’s day or self-esteem, from simply being kind ❤

 

3)  Do NOT be ignorant

I remember the stern and fierce way my mum said to me and my family “do not be ignorant! Know all sides to a story, understand other people’s perspectives”. We were all children at that time, and that message has stuck with all of us ever since.

 

4)  Say your prayers

Prayers are answered every day, and manifest in the most amazing and unique ways! I’ve had so many prayers answered throughout my life, and I still continue to see prayers answered every day!

 

 

5)  Always look for the best in someone/something

No matter how bad a person/situation is, there is always a silver lining. Relating back to the first point on being kind always; a gentle smile or act of kindness can really bring out the goodness in others. You do not know what someone else is going through, so being kind and looking for the best in others can make a world of difference, as well as maintaining a positive outlook.

 

6)  Push yourself out your comfort zone and try something new

Life exists outside of the household! I was always taught as a child to try something new, for everyday is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Try this, for example, consider what you did last year, and what you’re doing now; how much as a person have you grown? What have you learnt about yourself?  

 

7)  Have faith in yourself

 

When faced with a situation where others put you down, tell you that you cannot do something, and prove them wrong! Nay-Sayers, critics and those who are quick to tear you down are often riddled with their own insecurities and feel the need to shoot others down. Having faith in yourself can lead to acts of courage and you can really surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!

 

8)  Have a positive outlook/mind

A positive mind is very powerful! Positivity attracts, and can make everything much easier than by being negative. Keep positive thoughts flowing and your wellbeing will improve as will your outlook on life.

 

9)  Be prudent with your actions

Think about the long-term impact your actions have on others, on yourself and those around you. From a young age, I was taught to be prudent with how I treat others, and everyday learning life skills, such as managing money, cooking, etc. Consequential thinking (as it can also be called) has helped me to think more about the wider impact my actions have on myself and on others.

 

10)      Laugh at everything!

We all need a laugh, don’t we? It’s the best medicine, and it can make a situation seem much less worrying/upsetting when we look back and laugh at it with others. Learning not to take everything so seriously and to laugh about things that happen can make life so much better. Even at times where things are serious, get through it, and laugh about it; it will all be over at some point!

Words of wisdom from my mum: “if you can cope with stress, you can cope with life. If you can cope with stress and keep a sense of humour, you’ll fly through life”

 

 

11)      Love yourself!

This is one of the top few of the most important life lessons that my mother taught me! LOVE YOURSELF! You cannot love others if you don’t love yourself! Self-love is important, as it demonstrates that you also respect yourself, and will not allow anyone to put you down!

 

12)      Stay humble!

No-one likes an arrogant so and so! I was always taught to be humble. Humility is about being humble; it’s about knowing who you are and staying grounded. You can be praised and complimented, but it does not swell your ego, and you do not become big-headed. Likewise, someone can be rude and insult you, but you do not let it affect you because know who you are and are grounded.

 

P.S. Love you mum! You’re incredible!

 

Acocks Green Foodbank Call Out — Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum

This is a message from our friends at Acocks Green Foodbank “During the last two months the local Acocks Green Foodbank helped over 200 people, in some desperate situations from single men who are homeless with no income at all, to families with unexpected bills to pay and growing debts. Every person leaves with at […]

via Acocks Green Foodbank Call Out — Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum

The Power of Education

Thoughts from the criminology team

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela)

My name is Stephanie, and I was a Criminology (with Education Studies) student at Northampton from 2012-2015. After graduating, I proceeded with my masters in International Criminal Law and Security at Northampton still. I graduated with my Masters in February 2018. This blog post is a dedication to how one lecture and one seminar, from 2 different modules at different points in my university ignited a fire in me, which is still in me today.

Education opens our minds to new things; we see things differently and can use it as a force to make the world a better place and we can better understand the world around us. It can empower us to make change, teach and impart our knowledge to others.

During the 1st year of my undergrad, in a lecture…

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National Volunteering Week!

From 1st-7th June is National Volunteering Week!

Is there a local cause or organisation that you support? Is there a local group you can join and spare a few hours? Volunteering benefits the local community, the people you meet and work with, and even has a beneficial impact on your mental well-being.

Supporting a local cause can be highly beneficial for everyone, as well as yourself. You’re making a difference to the lives of others whilst giving the most precious thing we have; time.

All volunteers are valued team players for freely giving their time, service and skills for the benefit of others, the community and organisations.  National Volunteering Week is a week where we celebrate the work done by volunteers and their contributions to the community.

More information about National Volunteering Week can be found here: https://volunteersweek.org/about-volunteers-week/what-is-volunteers-week/

 

Question for you, what do you volunteer, and give your time for?

 

 

International Women’s Day!

8th March marks International Women’s Day!  A day where we celebrate the achievements of women and the struggle for equality over the centuries. 11th March was also Mothers’ Day (2018), and this blog post is a combination that celebrates some incredible women, as well as my own mother!

Here are some of my favourite and most inspirational women!

 

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Born in 1959 to a peasant family, Rigoberta got involved in Women’s Rights Movements when she was in her teens, and later, dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of Indians from the Guatemalan regime.

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1992/tum-bio.html

 

Saint Mother Teresa

Mother Theresa lived a pious life where she helped the starving people of Calcutta. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, and set up orphanages and hospices to help the sick and dying.

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1979/teresa-facts.html

 

Malala

Since the age of 11, Malala has been fighting for the rights of children’s education. She survived being assassinated by the Taliban for fighting for children’s education, and won a Nobel Peace Prize for her constant activism and strive for children’s education.

 

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad is a human rights activist and was a former captive of ISIS. After she escaped, she got to a refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq, and from there, began advocating and fighting for the rights of the Yazidis. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.

 

My own mother!                                                                                                                                    The most important woman in my life; the woman who carried and raised me, and taught me that no matter what, as long as I have faith, be kind always, and strive to do good wherever I go, everything will be fine!

Mum, I love you!

You taught me to love, have faith and show compassion; you are my rock!

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Time to Talk: What you can do to help someone with depression.

  • Spend time with them.

Giving your time for others is a wonderful way of expressing your care and love for them. Time is precious, and the time spent being with that person, helping them to distract their minds from the chaos and stormy torment that depression can make a world of difference.

  • Listen to them

Listening is an amazing skill that allows people to offload all their thoughts and feelings, which, in turn, provides healing. Do not make assumptions or ignore what is said (based on personal experience), as you will cause more harm than good. Listen to them.

 

  • Remind them that they are loved

Words cannot state how important this is! Depression is a downward spiral where negative thoughts, the constant burden of feeling guilty and worthless plague your life, and feeling like a toxic person 24/7. Reminding someone that they are loved can be a ray of hope. Be there for them, and support them. They are, after all, fighting a never-ending battle.

·         Recovery is possible!

This is what everyone with depression needs to hear! Recovery is possible, and with the right help and support they can overcome depression. From my own experience of depression, I thought it would never end, and that I was trapped in a downward spiral where I was beyond the reach of anyone’s help. However, when I got the right help, support and love from those around me, it created a sense of security providing a foundation for me to find my feet, and overcame depression.

 

 

Fighter

Stay strong you mighty fighters!