Saturday, 17 October 2009


I have recently submitted a funding application to take a group of 20 young people on four week-long residentials experiences: Canal Boating, Camping, Outward Bounds and a holiday to London. One of the questions asked on the form is "How will your funding application help reduce the causes of poverty and improve the quality of life for these youngsters?'. I struggled to think of answer for the questions. My initial thought was 'Well, I'm taking the kids away, they'll have a fab time... but then they're going to come back into their every day lives - hanging around the arcades and other such dignified pastimes.'

After much deliberation, contemplation and basic brain-racking it hit me! It all boils down to respect. I want to demonstrate to these children that there is far more to life than they find in South Blackpool - there is a world out there! The language that these children speak, their attitude to life and the way they behave is because they don't have any respect - for themselves.

If we can encourage these young people to develop a level of respect for themselves, then everything else will fit into place afterwards. Why do they throw litter? Because they have no respect for the place where they live and therefore, no respect for themselves. Why do they swear? Because they don't care what people think about them because, they have no respect for themselves. Why do they bunk off school? Because they're not interested in an education - once again, a lack of respect for themselves. All of these things, and more, are what contribute towards a society of poverty and deprevation. A person who has respect for themselves and believes in themselves will care about where they live, they will care about what people think of them and they will care about their education. If we can help these children to develop respect for themselves then, slowly but surely, generations will escape the downward spiral of poverty they find themselves in.

So there you have it - my theory of deprevation. If people realised just how much they are really worth, they would never be prepared to settle for anything less, even again!

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