Written by: Sean Morrissey
“I just never thought I’d see something like that here”, he says, “shelves are just naked, you know? Just gone, like they can’t keep up with demand.” He stops. “Never seen anything like it before in my life.” Mark, Food Bank volunteer
A barman by trade, Mark spends a good deal of his free time walking in nearby Wandle Park and working as a warehouse volunteer for his local Croydon food bank. He sees first-hand the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable people.
These wide-scale panic purchases, while disturbing, do have a way of settling back into the familiar, and often sooner than later. As the UK settles back into a relatively familiar routine, we are starting to see the ongoing effects of food shortages and panic buying across the UK food bank network. Food banks across the UK have been forced to reconcile their diminishing stock, leaving many to pay for the difference. For example, the North Paddington food bank, whose donation rate is down 25% in the wake of coronavirus, reported spending an additional £200 each week to cover the needs of vulnerable local families.
At a time when millions are self-isolating at home, or otherwise unable to secure the means they need to feed their family, now more than ever we must ensure that food banks across the UK are able to provide a fully reliable service to their clients. With the UK’s largest network of food banks, The Trussell Trust is leading the fight against food scarcity during this delicate period, garnering vital support from local merchants, like minded charities and community leaders.
Thankfully, organisations like Tesco and XTX Markets have pledged generous sums to mitigate the drought in donations, while members of British Gas will be providing door-to-door parcel delivery for vulnerable clients. These are incredible gestures to be sure, but the unprecedented demands that are facing area food banks cannot survive on corporate charity alone.
Your support of The Trussell Trust, through donations to the Peace Partners fundraising drive extends far beyond the immediate needs of recipients, providing much needed financial support for months to come.
Hope you are safe and well. We have some exciting news to share with you: on 11th April Peace Partners celebrated its fourth year as a charity! It hardly seems possible that we have been operating for four years, nevertheless much has happened and much difference has been made. This time last year we had just announced our National Lottery Community Fund award. Since then we have put the funds to good use towards the Peace Education initiatives we are supporting; our regular fundraising has continued to the benefit of both our humanitarian and peace education causes. To focus on one particular highlight amongst many, on 21st September, International Peace Day, we hosted a 'Practice Peace' forum in Croydon, attended by amongst others the Deputy Mayor and the Imam, which was streamed live over the internet and featured on the day's PeaceCast.tv broadcast.
Preparations for expanding our support of the Peace Education Programme have been underway for a while, and although we have had to cancel some events due to the Coronavirus situation, we are already looking at increasing our use of internet based distance forums instead. This past week we have launched fundraising appeals in support of the Trussell Trust food-bank and St Mungo's homelessness emergency responses.Thank you to everyone for your generous support, your collaborations, your interest and for making the last four years Peace Partners such great charity. We are looking forward to an ever more engaged fifth year! Thank you!
“Offer each other kindness and understanding. This is the time for empathy, clear thinking, and courage.”
Author and Peace Ambassador, Prem Rawat
We hope you are keeping well and safe.
The UK government's advice is that the social distancing and other provisions which form part of the Covid-19 Pandemic emergency measures may now last for an extended period.
In these circumstances Peace Partners has made the decision to postpone all planned events with immediate effect. Whilst this is a big disappointment, the team at Peace Partners wish to support the efforts taking place to protect everyone, and most especially vulnerable groups. We feel it is the wisest, kindest and most conscientious thing to do.
A huge amount of planning, hard work, time, hope and excitement goes into each Peace Partners event and programme - invested by the team, volunteers, our supporters and interested parties. Like many others the team are shocked that so much has had to change so quickly to respond to the wider wellbeing need, but we are not disheartened.
Much of our planning and work is done remotely, and as such we will still support the wonderful and amazing projects that we invest in as far as is possible, and we will use the forthcoming period to reflect and bring about positive impacts in more immediate ways; we will work on new projects to help make a difference to vulnerable groups in the UK during the pandemic. We will also work on different event themes and make more use of online platforms, including virtual events, webinars, and conference calls, and to continue to tell the story and keep the momentum going.
You can keep up to date on these activities and new beginnings at: www.peacepartners.co.uk
If you would like to receive regular eBulletins and news please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/dqRfNj
Juli Hammersley, on behalf of the Trustees, says “Please stay safe and take care of each other. It is very sad that we are not able to continue with our planned activities but the health, safety and well being of our supporters, community, team and interested people are our priority. Our thoughts go out to all of those who have been affected by this unprecedented situation. The Peace Partners team are looking at ways to offer support and assistance to those in need during this time. We will send you regular updates about these initiatives. Stay positive, stay focused, stay strong. With appreciation and thanks”.
The Peace Partners Team
Peace Partners is investigating ways we can help support vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 crisis. We hope to be able to focus on those with immediate food shortages and the homeless. Please look out for a further announcement in the next few days about ways we can help people in need in the UK at this difficult time.
Peace Partners is a small UK charity with a big vision: global access to clean water, nutritious food and personal peace. Since our formation as a non-profit organisation in 2015 our donors, volunteers and partners have collaborated to resource model humanitarian initiatives, and to promote an innovative approach to peace education.
We have vacancies for volunteering roles essential to the successful completion of our exciting plans for 2020.
The impact of our efforts - the difference we make - is a tangible improvement in the quality of many peoples lives, here in the UK and throughout the world. Volunteering with Peace Partners can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience, as well as very effective.
For more information about the initiatives we support please visit the 'Humanitarian' and 'Peace' pages on our website.
People interested in the work of Peace Partners may be interested to hear about the Peace Education Programme course being organised by Peace Education Cornwall in Penryn, Cornwall starting on 3rd March.
We are pleased to provide the following information forwarded by Peace Education Cornwall.
Peace Education Programme comes to Falmouth University at the Penryn Campus
Starts Tuesday 3rd March 2020
One hour course for 10 weeks - FREE!
About this Event
Discover personal peace and your own resources for living. This course will run every Tuesday starting Tuesday 3rd March 2020, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm
Location: The Daphne Du Maurier, Seminar Room N, Penryn Tremough Campus.
This is a FREE 10 week innovative, self-awareness programme developed by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF). The course enables you to discover your own innate tools for living. Each week you will be shown a different video on subjects such as Hope, Clarity, Inner Strength, Choice and the possibility of personal peace. Time is provided afterwards for reflection and/or expression. The Peace Education Program is non-religious and non-sectarian, and is a powerful and effective way to awaken an individual's personal understanding of themselves and of life.
For additional information and directions visit the course event page:
For information about Peace Education Cornwall visit:
Read a previous news item about their work here:
We are pleased to announce a major fundraiser event called CATCH US if you can! This will be an exciting social fun day out for all levels of drivers (16yrs +). Participants will be racing in teams of three in a 90 minute endurance race. But you do not have to be a racing enthusiast to attend, spectators are very much welcome. The ticket price for both drivers and spectators includes a barbecue with vegan and vegetarian options.lick here to edit.
All racers, £120.00 per person, (early bird option up until April 1st is just £99.00 pp) spectators £20.00 per person. The barbecue is included in the price.
If you want to book you can go direct to the Registration site. Or you can find out lots more on www.racefortheheart.net where you can also book. This is going to be the most fun day out of the year, and with racing enthusiasts likely to be booking their places early on, we advise you to book your place now to get your early bird discount.
Can’t make it on the day? Sponsor one or more places to give someone an opportunity to join a team and have a thrilling day. Nominate a team name to get your company noticed.
Write to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Here are some participants’ comments:
- I understand that moment when the penny drops. Something comes along and makes you smile inwardly
- There’s a lot of truth in what Prem said about not knowing when you’re in a dark place. And then the light comes on
- Everything Prem said resonates with me on a personal and professional level.
Some more comments:
- It’s a beautiful day but you have to be able to see it
- Life is not about pain and suffering
- It’s a relentless choice every day
- I wish I had found this a long time ago
- The PEP was great, I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming sessions.
Project Manager Lorraine explained to Peace Partners how the library PEP came together.
Lorraine teaches a weekly yoga class at the library, donating all yoga payments to LFE Community Library funds. During a meeting with the chairperson of the trustees, Lorraine explained about the peace education programme and asked if the library would like to run a PEP, a proposal went before the trustees and it was agreed. Soon a team of 6 of us were running a 10 week PEP course, Suki and Peter took turns to facilitate, John with expertise in audio visual, Sylvia note taking and refreshments, Jackie helped with contacts and preliminary preparations. Everyone who participated or helped, enjoyed it immensely. This PEP came together with a feeling of ease, goodwill and grace. The whole team was honoured to be a part of it and the joy of running it is a lasting memory.
For enquiries about a forthcoming Leicester PEP please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace Partners is the recipient of a National Lottery 2019 Community Fund Award. One of the many projects it has been able to help support through the award is the Get Creative with Peace initiative organised in Brixton, south London by Celebrate Life Events (CLE). CLE host regular cross-community and musical celebration events in London which have a focus on creativity and peace.
CLE held its initial Get Creative with Peace workshop in April 2019 and you can read about the event on CLE’s website celebrate-life.co.uk/get-creative-with-peace.
Following its success a further five of these interactive workshops were hosted during the summer, made possible in part by significant funding from Peace Partners’ Lottery Award.
The workshop was developed to be used with teenagers, especially in London schools and youth centres, as well as with other community groups and was piloted as a means of introducing people to the internationally acclaimed, Prem Rawat Foundation Peace Education Programme.
Each of the five interactive workshops included video clips of peace ambassador Prem Rawat’s simple message, alongside activities, reflection and creative expressions through poetry and art. The guest facilitators were selected especially for the specific audience of each workshop. Overall 137 people attended, and a number of attendees came to several of the workshops.
That the workshops were a real success can be gauged by some of the comments of the participants themselves: ‘Absolutely amazing.’ ‘Absolutely brilliant, I loved it.’
‘Every human being deserves at least one lesson that shows them they are creative.’ ‘The videos really made me reflect.’ It was completely different to anything I’ve been to before.’ ‘It was really freeing, I’m
leaving really uplifted … so thank you.’
Roni, one of the CLE organisers said, “Participants and facilitators seemed to really enjoy the message in the video clips and being able to express themselves in a creative way, as did the volunteers!”
As one of its partners CLE shares with Peace Partners a commitment to help address the problem of youth violence in cities across the UK. Peace Partners’ Director Juli Hammersley says of the collaboration, “Peace Partners is delighted to support this initiative, which is awakening a real and vibrant hope in the lives of young Londoners and the wider communities of which they are a part.”
Peace Partners is proud to be a part of the National Lottery 25th anniversary celebrations, and to be able to support a project like Get Creative with Peace which is making a difference in the lives of young, as well as not so young, Londoners.
Watch a short video review of Peace Partners highlights of 2019, and read about some of the detail in the report below.
A live-streamed event held at the newly refurbished Fairfield Halls in Croydon, with attendees such as the Deputy Mayor of Croydon, Maddie Henson and the Imam of Croydon, went down well on the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2019.
The aptly named ‘#practicepeace’ event was filmed by Peace Partners and live-streamed via PeaceCast.tv. On the day, participants were invited to sign their own pledges for peaceful lives and activity, while Croydon’s Deputy Mayor and the Imam both signed the Bruxelles Declaration Pledge to Peace in order to make Croydon a ‘peace town’. The Pledge to Peace is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pledge to Peace and the Percorsi Association, an Italian non-profit organisation committed to bringing the topic of peace to the forefront of public discussion and institutional action.
Many inspirational speakers spoke at ‘#practicepeace’ including Addy Mumumie, CEO and founder-director of Begin2Sports Group Ltd. She spoke about how she came to set up her own sports organisation following her family’s interest in sport, and seeing a gap for young people after coming to the UK. Also ‘Uncle Errol’ McGlashan and Gennoria Miles, both residents of inner London, gave wonderful renditions of their astounding and inspirational poetry.
Other speakers included Ella Matheson of the Tutu Foundation, talking about her campaign for a government Ministry of Peace, which was followed by an encouraging peace mediation for event attendees. Kheron Kenado of the Ubuntu Roundtable project did some interactive activities to help us to get to know each other and break down barriers to communication. All in all the day was hugely positive and there was a great energy in the room.
CEO of Peace Partners, Juli Hammersley said, “This is the kind of day that inspires all of us, where like-minded individuals come together to celebrate peace in a welcoming space. It is a massive step for Croydon to sign this declaration and has been marked by an enjoyable and memorable event. Hopefully some great connections were made at #practicepeace and we hope to hear more positive steps being taken forward in the name of peace. The fact that our event was live-streamed and people were watching and commenting from Tasmania, for example, is awesome to everyone at Peace Partners and beyond.”
For more information, you can still view the live-streamed event at either PeaceCast.tv or on the Peace Partners YouTube channel.