For all the horrors and pain that the Coronavirus has brought, the dramatic effects of it across society have opened up a whole new way of thinking…
It’s changed the way we think about the state, its role, and how rapidly its ‘normal’ rules can be changed.
We saw communities mobilise all over the world to take care of each other where governments have failed.
And in doing so, the pandemic has taught us the urgent need for more localism and demonstrated the power of communities working together.
We became good neighbours
People all over the world have been helping each other and filling the gaps in health and social care provision. Self-organised community schemes that support neighbours sprung up in many places, showing us clear examples of local self-sufficiency in action.
People-led social change begins…
So, when we take our minds off the trauma of today and look through the lens of the pandemic to the future, we can see that the creation of more sustainable communities by local action is achievable.
There are important things we expect our government to do, not least state provision of healthcare, education, defence from threats, to distribute wealth, and to provide the financial safety net that so many unemployed people need right now. But many fall through the gaps and do not get the help they need; especially as social pressures and individualism have long been pushing people away from intrinsic values like empathy and kindness. But now, living through the pandemic, we can see how a more connected community can provide its own local solutions from collaboration between local people.
There are over 200 local Transition Town groups all over the country where ordinary people have got together and started developing local solutions that are creating more sustainable communities.
Just as other towns and cities are doing, we are developing interesting and exciting community-led projects right here in Milton Keynes. We hope you will join us on them.