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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Power to the people

Think community spirit is a thing of the past? These projects prove it’s very much alive and kicking

East London Cabbie Day

What happens when hundreds of London taxi drivers skip work to transport children with learning difficulties from East London to Maldon, Essex, for a day out? A fun day out and a fantastic display of kindness. The event, called East London Cabbie Day, runs annually each summer and sees residents, shoppers and volunteers alike line Maldon High Street with balloons and flags, waving and cheering as the cars drive by, making the children feel special. Ultimately, the day exists to give the kids a day to remember. The taxis head to the Plume Academy, where students are waiting to greet them, provide lunch and host an afternoon of fun and games. The East London Cabbie charity relies on the generosity of helpers, carers and taxi drivers, as well as local companies and businesses to sponsor and support the day. All of the taxi drivers who take part miss a day’s work on the road to voluntarily take the children on this trip. Plus, every driver dresses his or her taxi with balloons and some even have giant cartoon characters tied to the roof of their vehicles – it’s certainly not a day that is done by halves. What’s even more touching is that the event began in 1952 with just eight taxis and has only grown in popularity over the years with up to 70 taxis taking part today.

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About Be Kind

Hello, What makes a home? Is it where your family is? The town you grew up in? Or maybe it’s wherever you lay your hat? After years of moving around to different cities, taking different jobs and making different groups of friends, I’ve realised that home can take many forms throughout your life. My nan’s house watching Gladiators and Blind Date with my brother was home. The campervan that housed all my worldly possessions when travelling in Australia was (a very tiny) home. The London flat share with my best girlfriend in my 20s was home. The house I grew up in will always sound, smell and feel like home. And I hope I still have many homes left to discover. This month I’ve read so many stories of ‘home’ – from foster parents, the elderly, my colleagues and the communities striving to make the displaced feel safe and welcome. I’ve spoken to the people who attempt to make their towns a better place for all to live in, the ones who say ‘yes’ and go the extra mile to help other people. I’ve learned about places where neighbours are friends, not anonymous nuisances, and those who are happy and comfortable living alone. A home forms part of your identity and that’s a lot more than just bricks and mortar – it’s the people you love and the community you’re surrounded by that underpin it all. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor