When you meet people from other parts of the country how do you describe where you live? Some of us name the nearest city or large town, Bath, Bristol, Swindon. Some go by county, Wiltshire, Somerset. However you describe it I imagine that nine out of ten times what pops into the head of who you are talking to is an image of rolling countryside, picture postcard villages and maybe even grand Georgian buildings. I doubt that many of them would believe that there are communities here struggling with poverty but the harsh reality is that there are.
This year at PaP we have embarked on an exciting journey to find a UK project. All our existing projects have grown out of initiatives by local people for their local community and it was incredibly important to us that this follow the same pattern. In the spirit of this we put out a call to the local community asking them to put forward projects that they felt could help tackle poverty. We often talk about how poverty is not just about a lack of money but can also be a lack of access to healthcare, social care, education and jobs to name just a few. The range of submissions we have had has certainly brought this home with all of the submissions covering different areas in one way or another. By the time you read this we will be locked away in a huddle trying to decide upon which, if any, of our shortlisted projects might be the right one for PaP. We have been excited by all of them and delighted to meet passionate individuals who, like us, believe in giving people a hand shake not a hand out.
All of them are causes that deserve support but what we need to decide is which one is right for us to support. It’s not going to be an easy task but we hope when we have found the answer you will be as excited as we are about the whole process. Watch this space!