The value of community and difference

Over the past month or so I have spent a lot of time meeting people passionate about homelessness, and with a great desire to help.  We have also seen this in the community cafes my colleague Alice is enjoying working with and supporting.  Something that has really struck me in this work has been how different many of these people’s backgrounds and motives are.  I’ve met with representatives from businesses, both local and international, people who used to be homeless themselves, student nurses, churches, representatives from other faiths and more.


On the surface there isn’t much that would bring this group of people with such diverse lives together, but their desire to positively impact their local community has.  I’ve long believed that community goes far deeper than friendship; friendships are normally centred around obvious similarities in ways of life, likes and dislikes.  Community-be that geographical or not, is more than that, it brings people together to learn, grow, and value each other’s gifts and skills.


It’s a real privilege to sit round with groups of people and think that normally they would never get to encounter each other but now they have.  These differences within community provides challenge in many ways, it can challenge our thinking, our norms and values, what we see as important, and our assumptions about others.  These challenges may not be easy, but I think that living in the discomfort of them can greatly enrich our lives in many ways. 


In the society we live in today, this seems all the more important, where it is easy to feel divided around so many issues or for fear to drive us to becoming more isolated, these varied communities that go beyond friendship I honestly see as vital.  Linking people together and working with networks that embody this is one of my favourite parts of this job, and I too have learnt so much from the variety people I now have the pleasure of working in partnership with.


So let us continue to prioritise building these relationships, and if you have a passion for seeing your communities in Nottinghamshire grow and flourish, do get in touch with us! We love meeting people with a passion.