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Getting off the ground

Jacqueline Landey explains the importance of the Scouts for all communities

”It shows them, I can do this myself. I see it in all the areas we work in – not just the deprived ones”

In a deprived neighbourhood on the outskirts of Coventry, a new Scout group is up and running. Despite two previous attempts to get going, 24th Wood End is here to stay. Visiting the group, local parents attend increasingly bustling meetings.

It’s the opening meeting of the Scout year and a group of newly invested Beavers are throwing out ideas for their first code of conduct. “How about we only use nice words?” suggests six-year-old Ruby. Moments earlier they’d been playing on the lawn outside when a speeding car had screeched to a halt at a stop sign and the driver had screamed: “Move your f-ing asses, b*tches!” The two teens sauntering across the street had given the driver the finger before continuing into the Wood End Chippy, a rare open store in a row of roller doors, pulled shut and spray-painted with spidery letters. ‘Jaydon R.I.P’ says the graffiti, and ‘rest easy’, marking the spot where, late last year, 16-year-old Jaydon James was fatally stabbed.

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About Be Kind

Hello, In 2016, I was fortunate enough to spend a year living in Australia. I fell in love with the country – its breathtaking beaches, great coffee, perfect weather, unusual creatures and outdoors lifestyle instantly won me over – what’s not to love? Day after day we pulled our campervan up to what seemed like undiscovered bays; we walked remote bush hikes and swam in blissful lakes – it felt like paradise. As much as it is beautiful, Australia is vast – it blew my mind how much so – it’s the sixth largest country in the world, around 32 times the size of the UK. I found it hard to gauge the scale looking at a map, let alone driving across it – trips we factored hours for took days. When the news broke of the horrific bush fires happening around the country, the size and scale of them felt unimaginable. Australia is no stranger to hot weather, its climate is one of the reasons Brits and tourists flock there and why many stay. Bush fires are not new news either. But those started in November 2019, and still taking place now, are the worst on record. Temperatures are the highest ever experienced. Thousands of people have had to flee their homes. Millions of acres of land have been incinerated. People have lost their lives. A billion animals have, too. The figures are staggering. In times of crisis it’s easy to feel helpless. But, we need to get to the root of the problem – climate change. It’s not a time to sit back and watch, it’s a time for action. And the good news is everyone can do something to help. This issue is packed with ideas on how to reduce your impact, clean up your lifestyle and, in turn, the planet. If we don’t act now, Australia could be just the beginning – we need to protect our beautiful Earth. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor