Community and Self-Reliance

Community and Self-Reliance

We should consciously encourage our communities to flourish. Clearly the growth of real community does not happen overnight, but yes, the States does have a role in enabling it to happen. For example, by co-funding the St. Mary’s Community centre, the States have helped to create a place where all sorts of community activities can take place.

Jersey society is made up of a range of communities, all of which give identity and purpose to their members. “Thanks, Daniel, for starting the St. Mary’s over-40’s football team”, said one man to me, “Now I have something to get up for on a Monday morning”

All these communities deserve encouragement and support if we are to succeed as a society – be it football clubs, film-festival-goers, reading circles, ethnic groups, age groups. And above all we need to build bridges to overcome the compartmentalisation which the advertisers would want to force upon us. It is in their interest to cut us up into tiny market segments, but it is bad for society.

Here are some ideas. I stress, this is not a blueprint, simply a taste of the kind of initiatives we need.

encourage community festivals like the Portuguese food festival, the branchage film festival, the Polish festival.

encourage interaction between our elderly and our young people

improve voter registration amongst our immigrant communities. Improve integration and attack isolation by extending language training.

renewed role for parishes as we combat climate change and economic insecurity together: parish allotments preferably near the school, creating friendships, mixing old and young, (the young learning from their green-fingered elders) growing our own food.

Parish halls and community centres becoming transport hubs for the vastly impsroved bus service, but also waste collection hubs, toy libraries, tool libraries, so we can share expensive items instead of each buying for him or her self.

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