From the moment I can remember we looked after each other. Our dinner table always had someone new to it, a neighbour, a friend, someone in need. We'd drop in, see family/friends unannounced, we always had a houseful of people. We had a great community and we were very much part of it. We organised fund raising / charity days and everyone got involved. My parents taught me about values, about helping people who were lonely or struggling. They taught me to love, help and not judge.
Later in life I learned at times we were struggling ourselves. Although we had a nice house and had everything we needed, there was no spare money. I didn't know they struggled to pay the bills, I wanted for nothing, I was happy. All I saw was how many meals my mum could make from one chicken and how to repair things rather than replace them. To me, she was my hero, she could fix everything and still have time to bake cookies with us. I grew up with homemade food and clothes, pass me downs, we made our own Christmas decorations, play dough, cakes and sweets, we played in the mud, could make anything from a toilet tube and had stories every night.
These days kids have it all, and want more!!!
I want to teach kids how to have fun, without the need of electronics, all you need is a toilet tube and an empty washing up liquid bottle, how to save the environment, get generations together, share skills and bring back community spirit.
Our Main Street is dead. Shops/banks/churches have closed their doors. We have no clothes shops, no where to pick up that last minute white t-shirt your son has told you they NEED for school tomorrow, our council now provides no children's activities in our area, no summer clubs, art club or sports club, nowhere for people to meet, share stories, no coffee mornings or queues at the bank where the elderly used this as a way of meeting their buddies and hearing about the local news or gossip. Parents are isolated and lonely. Soft-play is expensive and not ideal when you have children of different ages. Children are always on electrical devices. Many people are struggling with money whether they are working or not. Community is gone, people are scared to knock on their neighbours door and ask for help.
We want to bring community back. We want to offer a warm, welcoming and fun community hub, opened daily for anyone in the community to pop in and stay for an hour or all day if they wanted. Have a hot cuppa, leave a donation if you can, don't if you can't, depending on the donations we get there might be bananas or biscuits too. Make new friends, pop in on a Saturday to our weekly coffee morning. Browse in our pre-loved shop, let the babies/kids play in the play area. We have a baby changing facility with free nappies. Daily arts/crafts sessions for all ages. learn about environmental issues and how to help. Working towards a weekly program of events for all ages.
We run our registered social enterprise Rain or Shine South Lanarkshire from a beautiful but very old cold leaking church (no longer used as a church). We have a zero waste second hand children's shop, provide a place to play, offer free drinks and an area where people can hang out.
Our shop is proving very popular in our local community, we have received lots of donations of clothes, toys and baby items on a daily basis from local people, we prepare these for sale or to give away to our partner charities we work with to help people in need. We have kept thousands of items from going into landfill and helped so many people in our community.
Unfortunately we cannot achieve our other social aims yet, which is providing activities for local families, stopping isolation, getting our community together and sharing skills. Our church is very VERY cold, it's colder inside than it is outside, even in the summer. We cannot expect anyone to drop in, stay and spend time with us.
We would like to move to a shop front with heating. Somewhere warm, where our roof doesn't leak and we don't need to wear 5 layers of clothing
We have sourced a property with a great level of footfall not far from were we are based just now. We will use the money raised to kit out our new second hand zero waste shop and community space. To put heating in, tea/coffee making facilities, an area for arts and crafts, a place to relax.
A warm inviting community space for all.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting our project.