The time is nearing for us to act.
I honestly don’t know anyone that isn’t suffering to some degree or other.
For most of us, in relative terms, that’s not a great deal. There’s always someone worse off than you.
But you don’t need me to wax lyrical about the pain people are in. You guys – especially the social workers and front-line community workers – you see it day in and day out.
And for that – WE SALUTE YOU.
This hardship and pain is inflicted, cruel and unnecessary, when all we need to do is back each other and share our resources more fairly and sensibly.
And that’s the challenge. Can Castle and the six towns of Stoke do that?
We shall find out on the 21st November.
Please take a look at the attached poster that our dear friend the artist Grega Greaves has put together for us. We adore it and we’d love for you to share it with your friends.
The poster speaks from a time when Thatcher was in charge, when punk was in fashion and a culture of DIY was the only way to ‘make shit happen’.
Well, those times are back.
With £400.00 in total to run the CounterCoin Challenge across 7 venues, and produce 7000 clay coins, our work is cut out.
Fine. We’re cool with that.
London might have the money, but Stoke has the goodwill.
Let’s see which Trumps which, shall we?
Goodwill is in Stoke’s soil. In its nature.
“Earth plus Fire = Art” (as it says on the wall at Valentine Clays – p.s. what a kind-hearted business run by a lovely family that love their clay and support what we’re doing – please support them when and where you can).
Stoke is full of beautiful goodwill. I’m not from Stoke but i see a culture so familiar to the old mining communities I know and love up north – especially around Wigan and Salford and Peterlee in the North East. Stoke isn’t alone, and that’s the point. People are waiting for us.
Northern Soul communities that have been starved of investment, opportunity and hope for a relentless 30 years.
Creating an illness that’s spreading. A pollution that harms our minds our hearts AND our planet, in equal measure. A bitter insidious disease that’s is 100% artificial and through Group Therapy… 100% curable.
If we don’t call time, then who the heck will?
If we can pull this Challenge off with £400.00, imagine what we could do with £40,000.00?
So here is the plan.
Mobilise our crew, build some digital, showcase our efforts and raise some money to grow this movement of goodwill and kindness.
After the 21st, our next move is to persuade the business community to back our cause. We’re already hearing that a major cinema chain is willing to redeem CounterCoin (I can’t put who in writing just yet but speak to Narina), and we’re hopeful that a couple of the football clubs will come on board too. (Imagine if we could persuade the bus companies to accept CC for all those empty seats?).
Imagine if we can help the business community to breathe new life back into their half empty venues and struggling town centres….
Business + community = a win-win for both and a chance to lay claim to the title “STOKE – Social Capital of the UK”.
We don’t know if the Challenge Day will be a success or not. How do you measure success anyhow? For us it’s just staying at the crease – not getting bowled (and here we are, 12 years later, still batting forward defensives).
However, one thing we can say about success, is that there is no other gang of people anywhere else in the world that are so well connected to their communities, so well connected to their businesses and so well connected to each other.
In the olden days, such a movement would be called a Mutual, or maybe a Co-Op or maybe a building society. There is no gang anywhere else in the world as organised as we are to be able to create, from nothing, the world’s biggest Mutual, Co-Op or Building Society. The evidence of that might not be obvious right this minute, but that space is ours to claim.
if we believe.
Do you dare to believe?
Of course you do – so don’t be frightened. You’re not alone. It’s perfectly natural to have nerves on the eve of a very big event. It’s nature’s way of keeping us sharp – getting us into the right frame of mind – into the zone.
So please, help us make some noise, help us spread the love then help us rise to the next challenge, then the next challenge and then the next challenge after that. Exactly how we get ourselves organised to do that we will figure out as we go but one thing’s for sure, when we’ve done that, getting better organised will become Stoke’s long-lasting export.
If ever there was a time for people to stand up and be counted, then that time is now.
It’s time to lead from the front dear friends so please, as one, let’s pull together and back ourselves – and each other – to counter a culture that’s mean, nasty, selfish and divisive.
Let’s show the world what good really looks like.
LEST WE FORGET the message is simple: