Philip Hamlyn Williams: Had a bad 2016? What are you going to do about it?

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As I was writing, in The Lincolnite back in early December, about how bad 2016 had been, a little voice kept saying those words, ‘what are you going to do about it.’

I floundered; it was all too big. Then the words of a woman, a remarkable ninety year old, our Queen, in her Christmas message sowed a seed. She too lamented much that was bad but suggested that each of us could play our part in making things better by small acts of kindness.

Many of us will have heard too, at some point over the Christmas period, the story of a helpless baby born in squalid surroundings, recognised only by a bunch of men with the lowliest of jobs, and three foreigners, only then to be taken in fear for his life to a strange land.

A third entirely trivial image completed the picture, a jigsaw of Lincolnshire. A friend told me, how in order to while away a wet afternoon, he had worked away at a 500 piece jigsaw of Lincolnshire at the start of the 17th century. The place names were of course recognisable and the pattern well known. They linked, of course, perfectly.

So, if I take these three ideas, small acts of kindness, a recognition for those outside the swim of society and that sense of linked places, I come to a belief that together we can all make a difference. Each of us in our communities working away quietly to make them better places will in time create a whole picture that is a great deal better.

Lincoln Drill Hall has a key purpose in this, being a place where people in our communities can come together. On Saturday 21 January we are doing just that, we are hosting the second Big Soup organised by CompassionateLincoln.

This is an exciting opportunity for local people to become the investors in new, community-minded projects. There are, in and around Lincoln, a whole host of projects and initiatives working away quietly to make things better, to include the excluded, but which could achieve a whole lot more with, yes, just a little bit of money and perhaps some exposure.

You are invited to join us for lunch (soup of course!) and hear pitches from local people with big ideas for making a difference in our community. The formula is simple: 5 × 5 × 5 – Buy a £5 ticket – Hear pitches of no-more than 5 minutes in length – Dig a bit deeper with 5 questions from the audience.

Once all the pitches have been made, lunch will be served and audience members can discuss the ideas they’ve heard – which one will make the most impact? Which is the most exciting? Which do we want to support the most? Then we vote!

The winning pitch will receive all the ticket money from that day’s event to turn their idea into a reality.

When local people invest in the enthusiasm of others, making a positive difference becomes so much easier.

For more details or an application form to make a pitch please email [email protected]

Places are limited, so if you would like to be part of it, please book in advance. Tickets for the Big Soup are available from Lincoln Drill Hall or from the Box Office.

CompassionateLincoln is a campaign to encourage community-led action in response to the challenges our city faces. You can find out more by watching our video: