When people have an opportunity to meet up and share their stories, they will find things in common with each other, no matter what culture or background they are from.
We are Seacroft is founded on our shared experiences of community-led action and kindness. Looking out for each other is key to what we do. Working together for our own community, we have learnt that we are stronger together. We welcomed the internationally renowned community resilience project Groundswell, to join us for a series of workshops and share their experiences of supporting communities.
During our workshops, we explored how important it is to create safe spaces in our community, for people from all cultures and backgrounds to get to know one another. Groundswell have learnt through their work with communities, and their own experiences that when people have an opportunity to meet up and share their stories, they will find things in common with each other, no matter where they are from. It could be a chat on the street, meeting a new neighbor or attending a community event and meeting new people. After all, we are all human, with the same basic needs for food, water, clothing, sleep, and shelter.
We also all need to feel connected and safe in our community. Life is better with neighbors and friends to help us, or chat to when things get challenging. We learnt this overnight during the Covid pandemic; through working together to support one another to meet our basic needs and stay connected. Over the past few years, we have all experienced first-hand the reality that we can suddenly find ourselves vulnerable, lonely or isolated due to sudden changes in our circumstances. Feeling connected to your local community here in Seacroft is one way to make sure that you always have people that you can turn to when life gets difficult.
During our workshops with the team from Groundswell, we heard personal stories about how isolating it can be as a carer, single parent or after a relationship ends. Arriving in a new town, city or country can also be isolating. However, these big life changes can also provide us with an opportunity to meet new people and get involved with our local community, both for support and to feel connected to where we live. Local residents and organisations shared examples of some of the amazing projects that are going on around Seacroft to bring people together: such as football and cooking groups.
None of us are immune from experiencing isolation or loneliness at some point in our lives. We heard real-life stories about young people who were looking for a place to belong, and the challenges that they faced. Groundswell provided local residents and organisations with essential advice surrounding social media safety for young people and for all members of our community. The key message was: what we share online can have a very powerful impact on our future as it is incredibly difficult to take something off the internet once you have put it on there. During difficult times, we are more at risk of searching for a sense of belonging online, or in our communities, and finding spaces that are not created for healthy social connection; places that may not have our wellbeing in mind.
We welcome local residents and communities here in Seacroft to use the new We Are Seacroft website as their tool for finding welcoming and safe places: https://weareseacroft.org.uk/spaces-places/ and our flyer Living Well in Seacroft: https://weareseacroft.org.uk/living-well-in-seacroft/#dearflip-df_2170/1/ to find friendly local activities and places to get help when you need it.