Easter reflections from Josh Grear, our Brixton Team Leader:
We are starting to provide vital mental health provision to hard-to-reach members of the community through an innovative new approach, bringing therapeutic support to the streets.
In Lambeth, only 17% of mental health need is being met, and thousands are being left without support. For young people, the effects of this is huge: about half of all lifetime mental health disorders start by the age of 14; 75% will have started before the age of 24.
Addressing food security is a big priority for the majority of communities in Northern Ghana. Volatile food prices caused by unstable supply is the new norm. Many families faced with higher food prices can only cope by pulling their children out of school and cutting back on medication.
Celebrating and looking forward...
On the 17th September CHIPS supporters and teams came together to give thanks for all that God has enabled through CHIPS. Since Roy Calvocoressi's first project in Cyprus in the 1960s CHIPS approach to peacemaking has been developing and adapting to different contexts around the world, always based on strong biblical foundations.
When we look at the news and see conflict all around the world as well as in our own neighbourhoods, we can easily feel overwhelmed and want to turn away. But simple actions can help us cross divides and become peacemakers in our own communities.
I’ve often had young people walk past me and say ‘Fed’, ‘Evening officer’ or other similar remarks. I’m not a police officer, but as a tall white guy walking around our estate I tend to be assumed to be a plain-clothes cop by those who don’t know me. In Brixton, a place with a long history of conflict between police and the community, this isn’t great.
Over the summer we have taken our weekly community meal outside into the car park in front of the CHIPS flat. This has provided many more opportunities to meet our neighbours and interact with the young people that occupy and move through the space.
Taking both sides is at the core of CHIPS peacemaking methods. But how do we do that? And why?
Let's give you some examples....
In Ghana, two tribes have been in conflict for over 20 years, but three people from each side now live together in a shared house working together on practical projects. Together, that mixed team go out to run these projects and they work with people from all tribes in the area.