Good News from Brandwood from Andy Delmege
After reading an outrageous report in the Daily Mail (19th May, 2013) that Brandwood has 60% of 16 to 64 year olds on out of work benefits, the congregation of St Bede’s, Brandwood spent Sunday morning collecting good news stories about the area. We love living here and are deeply committed to this place!
– There is a good deal of care for older people. We could single out Chris Barr’s work through the Allens Croft Project, or our own Lunch Club (a couple of people have overheard conversations on the bus recommending the good quality and cheap food on offer).
– People are generous. We have recently raised several hundred pounds for Christian Aid. We support many people in need, for example through the Foodbank in Bartley Green or the Ifakara Bakery in Tanzania. We are aware of many volunteers throughout the community working hard for a better quality of life for all.
– Local schools are good and we love our links with them. The Childrens Centre on Allens Croft Road makes a very significant difference to the area. Our parent and toddler group is thriving.
– Most people feel safe living here. We enjoy a stable community. There is increasing ethnic diversity and integration has been good.
– the environment is improving, with good green spaces. Dawberry Fields Park has been finally re-done and is well used. There are a number of really good voluntary efforts caring for the various open spaces: Brandwood Cemetery, Jasmine Fields, Lifford Reservoir.
– There are some really good facilities and third sector groups around, including the Brandwood Centre, Brandood Forum and the Allens Croft Project. We are proud of our links with these groups. Our building is able to host many community groups and has several hundred people coming through the doors during the week.
– There is a good and developing community spirit. Brandwood Fun Day is a key part of this.
We also spent part of this time reflecting on the murder of Lee Rigby. One member, who is the mother of a serving soldier, reminded us forcefully that we are to pray for his murderers and all others who are so filled with misguided hate.
– Andy Delmege, 1st June, 2013