At November’s soup, Sarah and Beccy circulated to collect stories from soup-goers. Because we like to get to know ‘soupers’ better, and we love a story. Thank you to Sarah for sharing these snippets.

Sarah asked two simple questions What does community mean to you? and What inspires, drives or motivates you? 

Please feel free to submit your own answers!

What does community mean to you?

I spent three years unemployed and was heavily involved in Sheffield Neighbourhood Watch. I have campaigned for green spaces and helped set up the first City of Sanctuary movement which supports refugees and asylum seekers. There are now 76 across the country. Everybody, regardless of their ethnicity or social backgrounds, should feel part of the community. So being inclusive is means community.
Simon Ashley Cross  

Everyone helping each other out and if anyone’s not too clever – try and do your best for them.
Richard Bentley

It’s about connections; a place where one can shine as an individual while making a worthwhile contribution and inspire others to do the same.
Adriana Kosovska

To maybe help the world and make people happy and make new friends.
Stella, aged 11

Smile and the world will smile with you. I am teaching my daughters this.
Sun

Solidarity.
Mara Chrystie

People getting along regardless of their religious or political beliefs. Community means to be accepted. I need to feel accepted and I feel I need to make a contribution to make life better for others. I am blessed to be a blessing.
Wisdom Munhapa

People, their lives, coming together to address issues, assist each other. It’s an asset to be part of a community. There is no culture without community. Southend cannot define itself as a city without culture.
Jillian

Several people coming together to make change. You can get community that doesn’t really care but in ours we try to make a difference and put others before ourselves. When you do something for someone it’s like a gift itself and when you do something for someone else the gift comes back to you.
Maria, aged 11


What
inspires, drives or motivates you?

Any form of injustice and creating a utopian world community!
Simon Ashley Cross  

My wife Bernie for her courage and determination. Her ability to forgive and her honesty.
Musical lyrics such as Nick Cave, I even have tattoos.
Family – whatever mood I’m in they are there for me, so I try to do my best for them and like to think I do.
Richard Bentley

Making a difference, creating and connecting with people as well as connecting others up too.
Adriana Kosovska

I like art, beauty and nature. I grew up in the UNESCO forest Neringa, near the Baltic sea, and I like being by the seaside so I moved to Southend for that reason. I like collecting shells for my art.
Sun

“My open eyes could see no other way” – A poem by Wilfred Owen
Mara Chrystie

Love, because love is everything. Everything is really about love and that keeps me going.
Wisdom Munhapa

Diversity in people, the richness in people. It’s a blessing to be part of a community.
Jillian

Inspirational people that have had stuff happen to them and they don’t take it out on others.
Maria aged 11years

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