A mayor and community leaders have hailed a modern day Good Samaritan programme sweeping Britain after it helped their town over last 12 months.
The Good Samaritan is alive and well in Britain after a 17 year rolling out of a unique project to cut gun, knife and drug crime and boost kindness in over 250 towns and cities from Brighton to Bradford.
Weston-super-Mare is the latest town to join the 80-plus areas across Britain which are seeing extraordinary cuts in crime and boosts in kindness after taking up the unique Redeeming Our Communities (ROC UK) programme – with 170 more following suit.
The modern-day Good Samaritan project ROC UK charity came to Weston-super-Mare 12 months ago and has already had huge positive effects with some nine different projects underway or ready to go.
There has been crime-cutting work involving Avon and Somerset Police, North Somerset Council and others, including projects to mentor and support youth, family and young people.
Projects have started to reduce loneliness and isolation, help with anger management, and to support those struggling to pay for food and bills.
ROC WSM has already done inspirational work on the ground in just a few months in Weston-super-Mare. They are bringing much-needed hope and help to residents.”Mark Canniford, Mayor of Weston- super-Mare
There were thousands of acts of kindness during Covid19, delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions and providing telephone support given to help those in need with ongoing initiatives such as tele mentoring.
And there are other plans now for further financial help for residents, providing food clubs and a community fridge, and projects to stop low level crime and do free events to build hope.
A Christmas video they released on the Grand Pier received 25,000 views and was supported by Bear Grylls.
Mayor Mark Canniford said: “ROC WSM has already done inspirational work on the ground in just a few months in Weston-super-Mare. They are bringing much-needed hope and help to residents.”
ROC UK uniquely brings together community groups, Foodbanks, Scouts, and CEOs and senior leaders from schools, councils, business, police, fire service, the NHS, voluntary agencies and churches.
They then work together to drive through plans to help those in need including crime, youth problems, family breakdown, loneliness and mental health.
ROC WSM leaders Dave and Penny Hynds said: “It has been a devastating year for so many, with COVID-19 causing massive disruption to peoples lives.
“We want everyone to know that there are people fighting for them and wanting to help make a safer and kinder community.”
Manchester, Bradford, Burnley and dozens more areas are all seeing excellent progress after addressing knife crime, gun crime and youth issues.
Other areas to sign up include Taunton, Keighley, Milton Keynes, Reading, Canterbury, the Wirral, Ellesmere Port, Warrington, Skelmersdale. Preston, Northants, Woking, Crewe and Aylesbury.
This month Reading will start the latest ROC UK plan to slash knife crime – and the demand for their projects across the UK is rocketing.
Founder Debra Green started the Manchester-based organisation in 2004 and received an OBE for her work in 2014, but current demand is on an unprecedented scale.
Debra said: “We have seen a quite extraordinary leap in demand for our programmes since COVID-19.
“ROC UK is about community cohesion and helping to solve problems as well as increasing kindness between people.
“As the incredible volunteers, supporters and staff running these community-changing ROC projects have shown, there’s a Good Samaritan in all of us!”
Debra, with 25 years of experience in bringing organisations together towards the goal of social transformation, added: “We are delighted to see Weston-super-Mare take up the programme.
“The formula works, and with all the huge challenges of the coronavirus hitting home, we are finding that areas are increasingly desperate to have what we are offering.”
The ROC UK work has attracted interest from public services and local authorities who are impressed by the proven track record and results achieved.
For more information see @weareroc (Twitter) @wearerocuk (Instagram) Facebook