7 inspirations to grow care
wherever you are
Welcome to Care Unbound Now: Seven ideas to challenge and inspire.
We are Here. Our purpose is Care Unbound – To create more possibilities for care in every moment. What does care without boundaries or restriction look like? Care Unbound Now is a journey into the substance and depth of what Care Unbound means to us today, in the places we work and live.
Here has six commitments and we listened to see how they are in action right now. These seven inspirations are the experiences and stories of our colleagues, citizens, co-care designers and friends. How these people work and live and give inspires us, they tell us something about what care needs to be and what it demands of us today.
We hope something here sparks for you where you are. Whatever matters to you, please join us in continuing to discover how to create more possibilities for care in every moment.
I will find my way to care
This photographic artwork has been created by Martina Silla, who also works in the Sussex MSK Partnership. What inspires us about Martina is her deep commitment to the issues that matter to her, her ability to look these challenges in the eye and how she is finding ways to bring her skills and interest to contribute to a collective response.
‘Presence/Absence’ moves us because it shows how an individual’s unique perspective can connect us to something bigger and universal, and that can shift us from feeling alone and helpless and to becoming part of a movement.
This is a project about loss, in particular the loss of “our natural world”, and arguably the loss of ourselves. These trees (or what remains of them) are all within a mile radius of the office where I work, but they could be anywhere. This might help reframe the ecological crisis we are going through, often thought of as something which is happening “over there” and “in future”, as already here. This is also a tribute to the beauty they continue to offer even after they have been cut down. A form of appreciation. And we often do that, don’t we? We appreciate things after they’ve gone.
Learning about the ecological crisis and climate breakdown and engaging emotionally with what this means for all life on Earth is a painful process. It is one that I am glad I went through and stayed with. It has been transformative. It has helped reassessing my priorities in life. It has given me meaning. Last year I felt compelled to put my photography at the service of my values -to care for and protect others and the planet- and I spent 2019 documenting climate activism. This project is a new exploration of that need to work creatively in a purposeful way. At the end of spring last year felt this tremendous sense of urgency and I wasn’t sure how to channel it.
I had been thinking about the limitations of individual action (it is not possible to lead perfectly sustainable lives in an unsustainable system) and I wanted to expand my sphere of influence beyond my choices as a consumer and conversations with friends and colleagues (who were probably getting sick of me talking about the climate crisis all the time). I wanted to do something.
I asked if there was the possibility to do something at work and the answer was, of course, yes. A lot was already in place (for example we were already using a green energy provider), and a comprehensive sustainability strategy had already been created. Having reignited the intention behind this work and injected it with new energy meant that a new sustainability working group was formed: we are group of individuals who care deeply about these issues and come together to create opportunities for the organisation to have a positive impact.
The main difference is that I feel less alone with it all. There is enormous power in shared effort. I find huge comfort in knowing – having tangible evidence – that I work with dedicated, caring, loving, brave people who have decided
to face the reality of what is happening, to step up, to act. I am very grateful to every single one of them. Reflecting on what we are doing, as a species, to our planet and all its creatures (including ourselves) can lead to the arising of feelings of despair, anger, fear. These are perfectly reasonable emotional reactions that I believe it is important to acknowledge. Coming together as a group offers a form of therapy of sort.
It is safe to say that most people are, on some level, in denial. I know that I am; I probably wouldn’t be able to function if I wasn’t. Denial offers some level of psychological protection, I guess. Having said that, I don’t think in terms of hope anymore because I don’t see strong evidence that there is the will to make the rapid and radical systemic changes all around the globe which would allow us to stay below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, as recommended in the 2018 IPCC report. This might sound depressing; however taking this view can be somehow freeing: it is worth taking action, not necessarily because of its impact and contribution towards a desired outcome but because it is the right thing to do.
Your voice is needed
Our Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service partner YMCA introduced us to Audio Active, a ground breaking music organisation working with young people using music as an end in itself as well as a tool for social change. They describe themselves as “restless, unafraid and excited about what they do.”
Sade Weaver, aka Phonetic, wrote and recorded this piece as a commissioned response to what Care Unbound means to her. We are proud to showcase this, and Marshall’s track ‘Little Child’ (found on the next page), as inspiring expressions of creative voices working with personal challenge to empower change.
Thank you for coming on this journey into Care Unbound with us. We hope found something here that moves you as much as we have been. Please share what feels useful and inspiring. We would love to know what you think.
We invite you to join us at the Care Unbound Now Unconference in Summer 2020 – an open space day for digging deeper into the meaning and depth of terms such as care, listening, leadership, partnership and values, and for sharing what you’re learning where you are.
To sign up and get details, including the Care Unbound Now webinars we are hosting in April and October, just push the button below. We hope to see you there.
Paul, Una, Sarah & Zoe