ETHOS - Finally up and running!
It’s bewildering living in this world at the moment. Our whole race is being confused by some massive burning issues, not only beyond our comprehension but also beyond that of those we look to for guidance. We have political schisms that threaten to destroy the very systems we have adopted and now take as totems of our civilisation.
Toxic powers and regimes of darkness are cleaving together, infringing our borders and killing perceived adversaries before our very eyes. Other structures are being pulled apart by ego after centuries of work to enable mutual cooperation. Paranoia is rife and we are all subject to its influence!
Why am I mentioning this? This is, after all, supposed to be a blog about the progression of our fledgling charity which, –you’ll be glad to know- is now fully functional and in funds! I opened this blog discussing things more existential because it refers to a larger picture I have no desire to be a part of and yet feel that all of us can change in our own small but significant way.
We all have a part to play in what’s going on around us and, whilst the ‘responsibility for our own corner of the planet’ speech had, up until recently, appeared to be nothing but a cliché, I’ve started to see its reality and meaning. Small systems of support are springing up, strengthened by social media; having a profound effect on the things that really matter – the things that have an immediate and positive impact on local communities.
I recently visited Bristol where the homeless ‘situation’ is abhorrent! I have never seen such a problem staring society in the eye and being allowed to proliferate in such a way; the beauty of the city is difficult to appreciate when the hardship on its streets is so apparent. There is no point entering into the negative diatribe of how our government and its agents are failing to deal with this situation, let’s face it – they’re just not trying! What is worth mentioning however is the group of young ladies we bumped into representing B.O.S.H.
B.O.S.H. stands for Bristol Outreach Services for the Homeless and is headed up by a lovely lady called Julie Dempster. When we passed her and three or four of her helpers they were towing a small trailer filled with items to assist anyone in need, even down to things like make-up for the ladies which is something, I must admit, I had never thought of and yet must be an amazing aid in the restoration of someone’s self esteem. We stopped and had a brief chat about their operation and I was humbled not only by their love and dedication but by the gratitude shown by the homeless person they were talking to.
ETHOS has since made personal contact with B.O.S.H. (acronyms flying everywhere) and we will hopefully be working together in the near future.
When I started looking into this kind of voluntary help I found no end of groups and individuals working relentlessly to alleviate the homeless epidemic, mostly self-funded and going about their vocation with very little fuss or expectancy of praise. Some have amazing facilities and amenities (see Beacon House) and others offer services of amazing inventiveness (Colchester Rough Sleepers Group have converted a double-decker bus as an overnight shelter), others, have nothing but their commitment to the cause and dedicate hours of their free time on the streets conversing and helping where they can.
As I’ve already mentioned: ETHOS has been formed to help just these kinds of people and their organisations. In fact, thanks to the generosity of some funds already donated, we have started to contribute to their causes and will continue to do so as we grow.
Seeing this kind of love in action fills me with hope and suddenly the microcosm of true existence obscures the picture of confusion and isolation our media presents us with every day!
BTW, the picture above is not Julie or any of her team.