Without grassroots, independent culture there is no culture. And without culture, there’s a gaping hole in our economy and society. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, I have had a continuous, resounding, repeating anxiety when it comes to thinking about our cultural sector (when I say culture, I mean nightlife, pubs, clubs, restaurants, festivals and the arts). My fear has been this – “What … Continue reading Without grassroots, independent culture there is no culture
Don’t know who to vote for or even why vote… Here’s some of my thoughts, here is why I am voting. I hope this will make you think about what’s important to you. Each of us are citizens, we are not just individuals, we are the community, we are the town we live in, we are our country. As a citizen, we have a responsibility … Continue reading Vote With Hope
For the past few months I’ve been looking at how we get people more engaged in politics, from registering and encouraging people to vote, to mobilising individuals and communities to be more politically active. One thing has become really obvious in the run up to this General Election. A lot of people genuinely don’t know who to vote for and a very common reason is … Continue reading White Noise of Politics
I want to share really honestly with you this afternoon. My deepest concern for British society, above all other things, above domestic abuse, above crime, above loneliness and even above poverty is this… selfishness. That’s a bold statement I know, so let me unpack it a little. Many, if not all other social and moral ills of the 21st century have their root in selfishness. … Continue reading Sharing honestly about self interest
One of the most significant barriers to overcome when doing something in our communities is fear of failure and anxiety about getting it wrong I have really struggled with this over the years. In part this has been my own problem but also we live in a society that doesn’t give much room for failure. We only have to look at how much failure and … Continue reading Failure and Getting it Wrong
Last week Ralph Lee, head of factual at Channel 4 announced he would not back down to pleas by Stockton locals to stop making Benefit Street in our town, I am one of those locals, but I mean really, why would he? What power does a little town in The North East of England have to change anything that happens to it? We will just … Continue reading Saying “No” to Benefits Street… Warning, this one’s political!
When you think of Teesside do you think of exotic bird watching, rowing, mountain biking, surfing and sailing. I’m guessing you don’t, yet if you dig a little deeper into what is happening in our area, you will see it is brimming with these types of activities. For the last 6 or 7 years, I have taken myself off regularly to Saltburn, clothed myself from … Continue reading Things to do in Teesside – Go Outdoors
Teesside has creativity and culture coming out of its ears. But it seems only a few people know about it. Just like many other great things happening in the region, it is hidden, underground and away from the main-stream. This is probably one of its greatest strengths but also its biggest weakness. The sector has this gritty grassroots edginess, a non-commercialised character and a group … Continue reading Discovering Teessides Cultural Scene
For the past few months I have been getting out and about and meeting local people. I am working on an idea that Teesside and the surrounding areas can change for the better if people come together to be the change they wish to see. Many of us complain about what is wrong with Teesside but few of us do much about changing things. I … Continue reading Be the Change You Wish to See in Teesside
I remember in the early days of starting A Way Out, the charity I was a part of founding in 2002; we spent a long time working out what our name should be. You see a name is important. Without a name, you can’t register for a bank account, you can’t apply for funding, you can’t become a legal entity. Your name is central to … Continue reading What is in a name?