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Understanding Community

I'm developing a better understanding of the word 'community'.

There are lots of dictionary definitions available, but the one I like is:

"a group of people considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities."

Last week I was privileged once again to be part of a Kindness and Co event, sharing the day with 90+ guests at the Easter Sunday buffet. Each time we host an event such as the Christmas Day or Easter meals, or when we set up a new project such as the Wellbeing Bags for new Y7 students I am amazed at the range of people who step up to give of themselves to support others. This year we were supported by the students at Wales High and Dinnington High schools who provided all the Easter eggs and greetings cards, South Anston Methodist church who allow us free use of the hall and kitchen facilities, and Rotherham Round Table who made a generous donation. But we also had dozens of individual donations of buffet food, cakes, and gifts, and money, and we had a small army of volunteers to support us on the day. It occurs to me that the thing binding us all together at the Kindness and Co events is that we consider ourselves collectively in the context of social values. We refer to all the people who are involved in these events as “guests” because it is often not possible to say whether a person is helping out, or being helped. For much of the time I am supporting the people who attend the event – so I am helping out; but without a doubt my life is richer because of my involvement – so I am being helped. Each of us is involved because we recognise the importance of belonging and sharing, and by being involved we are making a statement about our priorities and values.

Kindness and Co is a community. Whether you are a school student making a card for someone you will never meet, a pot washer in the kitchen, a young Mum bringing her children to the event, a young cake baker, a 70 year old woman with no family, or a meet and greet volunteer sharing your lunch with people from a background you have never encountered before. It doesn’t matter because we are all part of the same community.

If you want to find out more about the work of the Kindness and Co then visit

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