Andy Fearon, of Carlisle Vineyard Church had a growing question that he shared with a group of city leaders in Carlisle. “What if everyone in our city took whatever they were good at, whatever they were passionate about, whatever skill they had, whatever was in their hand and gave it to our city for a day?”
A few years later, in January 2015 Andy had the opportunity to present this idea again to a city wide initiative called Carlisle Ambassadors.
By March he was presenting the concept to hundreds of business, organisation and city leaders at one of the Carlisle Ambassadors meetings. A good few in the room were inspired and their first pilot project was launched in June 2015 when a local businessman, Paul Rheinbach, oversaw the renovation of a local football club’s changing rooms.
Between June and October 2015 they piloted 12 different projects. Some were very practical – like the building of an all access road, others were to inspire their city’s future business leaders and still others to encourage the staff of a local NHS hospital. But each of them was an act of generosity, given for the benefit of others in Carlisle.
Give A Day 2016 took place in June of that year. Given that this was just 6 months on from the devastation caused in the city by Storm Desmond, many projects focussed on recovery work. 14 projects were delivered, ranging from clearing stones from the football pitches of the Sheepmount, refurbishing a skate park to renovating 3 uninsured flood-affected properties and hosting a street party for the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Year on year, they have developed the concept further, but their aim is simple: For Carlisle to be a generous and great city.
Andy said: ‘We’re simply asking our city – “What’s in your hands?” “What are you passionate about?” “How could you give that away?” and inviting our city to submit their projects and plans to us.’
‘It could be on your own, or with a team from your school, workplace or neighbourhood. Whether you give an hour, a day, donate blood, give food, renovate a garden, help a neighbour, everyone can do something!’
The 2017 Give A Day projects commence on 24th June.
Since Carlisle Vineyard started Give a Day, several other towns and cities have adopted this idea as well. For more information about Carlisle Vineyard and Give A Day, please visit their website.