2009 was a pretty dreadful year for millions of people across the UK, with the economy being in freefall and other assorted problems confronting us. But I feel that it was an especially disheartening year for those of us in the Hinckley area with our borough unfortunately making the national headlines on several occasions for all the wrong reasons.
I certainly don’t want to go over those events again but I needed to set that out so the rest of this article makes sense. My view is that I am an overwhelmingly optimistic person and I believe the best of times lies ahead. That is not, of course, to forget the past but rather to try and learn from it and move forward.
2010 marks the start of a whole new decade and we can make of it what we will. I’m very fortunate to be involved with a number of different charities and community groups who are undertaking fantastic work, in several different spheres, to help make the lives of local people, and those further afield, better.
One of those is the Hinckley and Bosworth Fairtrade Forum, which exists to help promote the Fairtrade (FT) movement and FT products in the area. Why is this important? Because you know that if you buy a product with the official FT logo on it that the original Developing World grower/farmer will get a fairer share of the price paid for it in the West.
Another group I’m involved with is the Barwell Carnival Association, which organises and runs my home village’s red letter day. Barwell, perhaps more than any other part of our borough, had an exceedingly tough 2009. The Carnival is an opportunity for the good people of the village to come together and support local groups by, once again, turning out on the streets to watch the annual procession of floats and the wonderful field events.
Days like that of the Carnival are important beyond their obvious benefits. They help formulate the mood of the village and the people who live there. They also help us through the tough times, the hard days.
Those are just two examples of groups of local people, taking time out of their busy days, to give of themselves for the benefit of others. I guess what I’m trying to say is that yes, times are tough but if we all pull together we can create something good.
One of my favourite films of all time is called ‘Field of Dreams’. I’m sure many of you know it well. It stars Kevin Costner and is about a man who builds a baseball ground in the field at the back of his home after hearing a voice whisper to him that (to slightly misquote the film) “if you build it, they will come.”, when he is walking through is cornfield. Well, call me soppy if you want but I believe if we try and create a good, strong, close, decent community we can build something good. And good things will come our way.