Imagine this as a leaflet that you receive - or preferably deliver - with an open heart and a cup of tea

Dear Neighbour

I believe in community and with your positive response to my brother’s suffering we could have a wonderful community here at no cost; just a little mutual care.

My family is trying to get a bicycle for my brother for Christmas and it’s harder than you might think. Part of the difficulty is that he’s been diagnosed as having a type of terminal cancer that affects the choice of bicycle. Maybe he’ll be able to handle a mountain bicycle for now, but after the last attempt at surgery it will be a fold-up bicycle that will work best so that friends and neighbours can drive him to a favourite lake for him to cycle round as a break from being under mum’s roof all the time. You know how it is? Families under pressure? Anyhow, it’s not just a bicycle my brother needs; it’s a community and a community is, for me and him, defined by how much it cares and how much it shares. 

I’ll be calling round to talk to neighbours about
This is a place where you can find whatever items and support you need for free; like a community tool store with advisors to hand. The problem is that the whereabouts of the bicycle racks for cars, camping equipment, fancy dress for parties etc is hidden until we put it on or or similar. Then we not only have a local resource for unexpected needs, but we also get to meet each other and believe in each other again, for love grows from connections such as I’m suggesting.

Please don’t wait for me to call round about the availability of a bicycle at your house. Instead please give yourself this Christmas by opening the door of sharing and putting items that may be of use to others online. If you’re worried about what might happen to your stuff, take deposit money (or favours/work) from people until each person has established enough trust. If you don’t use the internet allow me to help add the items on your behalf that your neighbours will appreciate being behind a nearby friendly door at their time of need.

My name’s ... and my number is ... When we next meet I do hope it is to find creative ways to help all those in our neighbourhood who could benefit from just a little bit more caring and sharing...


The Director of Action for Happiness came visiting

- he was hoping to find a formula to copy the success of the local Action for Happiness group, and wider St Leonards Sharing Consortium, both of which I had founded. Before leaving he told me that he put the success down to “the Paul Crosland effect”. Over seven years later and I’ve still not been asked to begin a self-cloning operation!
At the time I was funded by a credit card & a benefactor who became that because of seeing how I handled criticism. May at least one of the half dozen projects alighted upon in this diverse group discussion relate to what you do for others ...and stimulate constructive dialogue between us (Text first please on Zero7807 066 202).
Anyhow, here’s the film from the heyday of my innovative version of Community Development Work (self-appointed!) in Hastings and St Leonards on Sea: