Community Spirit

IMG_20140923_044236  This photo is a memory from a winter’s morning on Polegate High Street. The joys of getting up early and going to work!

To help my improve my fitness levels I volunteered to deliver some leaflets for an acquaintance.  A couple of years ago I delivered leaflets in the same road so I thought it would be a good way to see how my fitness is/has improved. The first time I gave it a go it took me a few hours. Today I was done and dusted in an hour and a half. I was achy afterwards but it shows how much my overall fitness and health has improved.

A couple of years ago there was a burst water main and most of the area had it’s water supply cut off. We were okay because, having a car meant I could go to a town further away and buy water. However, many were not so lucky. The people who attempted to distribute the free bottles of water supplied by the water company didn’t do a very good job. It seemed if you didn’t have access to social media it was difficult to find out what was going on.

I was alright as had a water supply and I must admit I didn’t give any thought to other households. On day 2 of the water shortage I was going to work but something happened on the train network and the train was cancelled. I decided to work from home so went to pick the car up. In the car park there was a few pallets stacked with water bottles. No one was around and I stopped and looked. The water wasn’t needed there but I thought there are elderly and vulnerable people near where I lived would could benefit. So, I loaded the car and went home.

I got the other half to join me in distributing water. It was easy, go to the house and knock on the door and hand over two bottles of water. If there was no answer just leave the bottles on the porch. We would visit about 60/70 houses on that road. We didn’t expect the reactions we got from people. There were those who hugged us and cried because someone had thought about them. There were some who wanted to pay for the water, finding it difficult to believe someone would do something for nothing. Then there were those who said take ours and give it to so and so; they need it more than us. There was the older couple who were more or less recluses who wept; not because I knocked on their door but because I told them their neighbours had specifically said ‘please call to that house because they really need assistance’. There was the lady with didn’t normally answer the door to strangers. This time she did; she hugged my other half and cried. Again, neighbours had explained her situation and were delighted that we made an effort to ensure she got her share.

That day was a real eye opener. Not just for me in the action I took. For my other half and the way she engaged with people. For the generosity and kindness shown by neighbours to each other. If only we could harness that spirit and use it more on a daily basis.

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