Fighting Poverty at Home

26th February 2015

Tim alumni blog

Did you know that over 13 million people in the UK live below the poverty line? After returning from volunteering in Nicaragua, Raleigh ICS alumnus Tim decided to take action on this issue, and got his whole street involved!

Poverty isn't just an issue encountered overseas, and as part of his Action at Home project, Tim wanted to find ways to address these problems closer to home. Tim contacted his local food bank, which supports vulnerable individuals affected by housing and social difficulties by offering donations of food and household supplies. He found out how to get involved, and organised a collection in his neighbourhood, visiting around 100 houses. Tim received donations of non-perishable food from the vast majority of the houses he visited, as well as receiving a great deal of support and encouragement from his neighbours.

Tim alumni blog

 “I was quite overwhelmed with the generous donations and how friendly and supportive people were”, said Tim. “Some people invited me into their homes and were really interested in what I was doing and offered their services if I was to do it again. This, for me, was what I found most humbling as it was really nice to talk to people on my road that I have never had the opportunity to speak to before, and really try to build some community spirit. I now know a large handful of people on my road who are keen to get involved in any future projects.”

After his experience of volunteering in Nicaragua where water is such a precious resource, Tim was also keen to raise awareness of water consumption. While requesting donations, he also gave his neighbours leaflets on how they could save on their water bills, and reduce water consumption overall. Tim argues that development must be encouraged in our own communities as well as abroad, and by being more aware of the impact our actions make, we can have a positive difference to the wider world.

“It is important to remember that people suffer in our own country. Having stability in our own country will give us a better understanding of how these issues can be tackled in other parts of the world.”

Tim’s food bank collection is just one of the ways Raleigh Alumni have engaged with their local communities to combat and raise awareness of development issues. Have you been involved in taking social action since your Raleigh placement? Let us know at alumni@raleighinternational.org