It’s been a while since my last update, for no other reason than I’ve just been so busy! The summer has come and (almost) gone, with not much time for holiday, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying everything I’m doing.
I’m spending more time now giving talks to groups of young people, helping them see what the possibilities are for them out there and hopefully inspiring and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. One of the messages I’m trying to get across to them is there’s nothing to lose by trying something, and you’ll find that if you just ask people for help and advice, most of them will say yes. I’ve met some very smart, bright and positive youngsters who have just never been shown that there are opportunities for them to take their ideas and passions forward and make a difference to their own lives, while positively affecting those around them.
Things have moved forward with the 4 Children charity and I’m now part of the Family Commission, a campaign chaired by Esther Rantzen, which will run for 18 months, focusing on the real needs of families in the community. I’ve also been travelling around the country with the ‘Make Your Mark’ team, helping judge the Enterprising Britain competition, to find the most enterprising place in the UK. The regional winners will all be at the awards ceremony in London in October, where I’ll be part of the final judging panel. I’m also hoping to work with Vodafone, helping promote their ‘World of Difference’ campaign, which encourages and supports young people in volunteering for various charities. And I’ve recently become an Ambassador for Have A Heart (formerly GWR Kids) in Wiltshire, and will be working for the next few months to encourage local businesses to partner with the charity. I’m sure there will be a good response – I’m already working with Zurich and other organisations in Swindon to promote working with their local communities, and the response has been really positive. It’s good to see that, even in times of recession, so many businesses out there are still keen to operate with a principle of giving back.
On a personal level, I’ve started my own coaching business and so far have helped 3 friends start up their own businesses, using their unique talents and gifts. I am now running sessions in Swindon for small groups and putting together coaching materials, based on my own experiences.
I can’t believe how things have changed for me in the last year and how many wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to meet, all around the UK. I don’t think we realise how much untapped potential and how many good ideas and good people there are in Britain. It makes me very hopeful for the future.
Finally, please don’t forget that it’s Peace Day on Monday September 21st. If you haven’t already come across the amazing Peace One Day cause, here is an introduction, and I would urge you to visit the website, which has all sorts of educational resources you can download to spread the word and awareness of this global day of peace.
In 1999, filmmaker Jeremy Gilley dreamed that one day all the countries of the world would unite in recognising a specific day in the year as a day of ceasefire and non-violence. In 2002, the 21st September was officially ratified by the U.N. as International Peace Day and adopted by its 192 member states.
Jeremy’s latest film, ‘The Day After Peace’ has been screened in over 90 countries, and the 2008 Peace One Day concert, held at the Albert Hall, has been seen by an estimated 250 million people. The next major objective is to introduce 3 billion people to Peace Day by 2012.
You can help Jeremy achieve his goal simply by making everyone you know aware that the day exists and marking it every year, in even such a small way as lighting a candle.