Here in Cheltenham we have a big dream – We want every school, every organisation and every resident to Choose Kindness. But when profit comes first, when old-fashioned discipline is the norm or when families are dealing with their own challenges is this realistic? We think it is.
Kindness has been a talking point in the media lately, with high profile stories about the effects of unkindness and trending hashtags (#BeKind) bringing it into everyday conversation. While this is good, and definitely gets people thinking, how do we turn that into action, and most importantly, long term change.
NCLB spent the bulk of 2019 raising awareness of a variety of issues that disproportionately affected children in poverty; mental health, access to hobbies, poor school attainment, lack of confidence etc . As 2019 came to a close and with awareness successfully raised, we turned our thoughts to the future – how do we now act on what we’ve learned and create a town where children and families are ALWAYS treated with kindness, understanding and empathy?
Answer: The NCLB Community Agreement.
The Community Agreement, based on what families told us mattered most to them, is a promise. It’s an ethos that schools, organisations and individuals can sign up to and commit to working in a way that recognises how trauma affects people, that focusses on people’s strengths not their challenges, and that lets people be in control of what support for their family looks like.
We launched the agreement on 3rd September with a number of schools and organisations having already made the commitment, and with a call to action for those who hadn’t yet. The response was so uplifting, and we quickly saw others across a wide spectrum of sectors join us.
Our plan now is to continue to work together, to increase our understanding of trauma and adversity and to think about how we engage empathetically with those who have experienced it. And as more and more join us we hope we can begin to see real change in the way family support is delivered across the town, and always with kindness at it’s core