Image 1What happens in communities when funding for projects is cut back? When plans and development for new centres no longer happens and the traditional means of support is withdrawn, what is the real impact?

Image of Granard Children’s Centre with Maggie Darling, Daycare Trust event at Speaker’s House, London.

Many community based projects started to improve people’s lives and increase opportunities, especially in areas of need, have seen major cut backs in the last two years.

Many projects are still continuing, even without the support that was originally in place. People are people, and in England the spirit of togetherness and helping each other still exists, plans are still taking place.

Quiet revolutions have happened before, a film from Soka Gakkai International shows that even one person’s actions can make a dramatic difference. Narrated by UN Sec. General Kofi Annan and narrated by Meryl Streep, this prize winning film is worth a look.

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ā€œ …feeling powerless to affect the crisis facing humanity, many do nothing.

But a growing number of ordinary people are carrying out a quiet revolution.ā€

Our partnership, SmithMartin Partnership LLP, works directly with people in communities, we are committed to providing support and enabling achievement and aspirations.

There is a real sense of a quiet revolution, which continues the deliver the good work, to support families and young people, a revolution to bring people together but in a quiet and non demonstrative way.

From experience people do feel ‘let down’ by authorities that had been so supportive and now have changed directions. But a sense of community togetherness has been engendered and working together to support each other has been enhanced.

The Sure Start Children’s Centre initiative is a good example and recent news in ‘Children and Young People Now’ indicates there is a reduction of over 400 since the coalition government was formed.
But of those 400, only 25 have actually closed and London has been the worst hit. Many centres have been combined and formed into clusters with one leader and reduced staff across the cluster, but the work, the contact and the initiative still continues.

Centres in London that we work with have seen major reductions in staffing which has inevitably led to some activities and services being reduced. But the centres are still vibrant and diverse communities, offering provision that is most needed by their families.

Looking ahead with a wider perspective…. there are opportunities to apply for funding for community projects and with the right organisation and structures in place chances exist to support projects, to encourage attainment and aspiration to help people’s lives.

A future through this quiet revolution is possible and will happen through people just like you and me.

Sue Martin

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