I was struggling to decide what to write about this week. With Brexit and the news today that Trump has been firing tear gas at children who are trying to escape the most horrific of circumstances the world seems pretty dark at the moment. I don’t want to write about things that get me annoyed and wound up, that’s not going to serve any purpose at all.
Instead I’d much rather write about things and people that inspire me, events that remind me that the world is an amazing place full of hope, joy, love and possibilities. Yes, there’s a few doyles around who have different agenda’s and would rather spread fear, division and intolerance but on the whole there is so much more light and positivity in the world – fact.
So today I want to tell you about an amazing group of people who I had the pleasure of spending a week with every year from 1990 to approx 2005. I was a volunteer for the Eston Fellowship and every year we would take a group of children and young adults who had a range of physical and learning disabilities away for a week. The guys that we took on holiday were from a deprived community and the week away was a break for them and their carers. It was also the highlight of my year. It was without fail a week filled with laughter, joy, friendship, singing, dancing, and fellowship. It also had a fair amount of going to the pub and enjoying a drink!
The guys that I spent the week with taught me more than they will ever know. I learnt the positivity that comes from volunteering, from giving something back and helping others. Some of the parents and carers were so grateful that we had given up some of our time so they could have a break. The guys also gave me a reminder on how to approach life.
Here was a group of people who all had a range of disabilities who just laughed, smiled, gave the most amazing hugs and just spread warmth and love wherever they went. They danced like no one was watching and when it came to karaoke they certainly sang like no one was listening!! They inspired me so much and gave me some of the best laughs I have ever had and provided unforgettable memories.
So whenever I feel down about the state of the world I’ll remember these times and these guys, some of whom are sadly no longer with us. I’ll remember that we never have to take life too seriously, that smiling, laughter and hugs are the way to go!
Apologies for the quality of the pictures, they were from a long time ago and usually taken at the party to celebrate the end of the week!!!