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Making the pledge for my local community

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  • Picture of Lilian Barton
    Lilian Barton
    An active RSA Fellow and former North West regional Chair.
  • Communities
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action

We make promises or commitments at certain times of our lives or times of the year.

There are all sorts of pledges such as the social impact pledges that organisations make, community pledges, school pledges and even family and personal pledges.

A few weeks ago, I attended an RSA event in Manchester and made some pledges to improve my local community – and these small steps have already made a difference!

Make our places work for us

On that balmy evening, most of us there were probably looking forward to the rest of summer and holidays to come. Probably no-one was really in the mood to pledge anything at the event after a long day.

But we were greeted by some very enthusiastic organisers and facilitators. The event was an RSA North event called ‘Make our places work for us’. It was all about creating an environment where we could learn, talk, and listen.

There were a mixture of creatives, entrepreneurs, educators, businesses, academics and people from the third sector. There were some extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and generous people and as a Fellow it never fails to amaze me how friendly people are.

In no time at all we were all buzzing with ideas for things we could do that would help make where we live a better place. The themes we were looking at – Community, Education, Meaningful Work, Kindness -  were big. We quickly realised that even small pledges could start to make a difference.  

My pledges for the community

My pledges for instance were:

  • Reach out to new neighbours with a bit of kindness
  • Encourage neighbours to come together a couple of times a year to discuss anything
  • Reuse water – try not to waste

Here’s the difference they made:

  • New neighbours’ young son’s bicycle tyres needed pumping up, so we got our pump out and did that. Result: one happy little boy and a lovely chat with the young family.
  • Late September/October a neighbourly get together with food and music to chat about all sorts of issues concerning our local area and also bond with each other.
  • Reusing water for garden use, rain water from our roof supplies our pond with fresh natural water and the overflow from the pond waters the hedges and trees.

Now with the end of summer we are all recalibrating back to our ‘normal’ lives. Children are going back to school soon, we are returning from holidays to work and more regulated lives. Even the weather forecast is bringing us back down to earth with cooler and wetter weather for September.

Looking forward to the end of the year, what pledge are you willing to make for your community?


A big thanks to Rachel Barker, Alison Edmonds, Rhiannon-Jane Raftery for organising a great thought provoking evening. 

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2 Comments

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  • Agree, small steps can make changes and the more people that do this then more impact it has. Good to hear about the outcomes your actions have had Lily, thinking about what next if we can find an aooportunity to follow on from this event?

  • Agree! The evening had such a creative atmosphere: a real energy when great people come together to find new perpsectives and approaches. RSA Fellows are simply wonderful people!  Pledges are so important to help people commit to action. Thank you for sharing how your commitment led to these super outcomes. The two young lads (aged 13 and 15) who came along to the evening felt such a strong sense of community and left knowing that small steps create great changes.

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