Guest blog Andy Fearon – “Give A Day to the City”

A truly inspiring post below from a good friend and stalwart of Carlisle City. The vision and passion Andy and the community of Cumbria have shown for Give A Day to the City is an example for us all. This year was a pilot! A hugely succesful pilot and it’s the beginning of something very special. Thank you Andy and the community for inspiring a City to dream and to make the dream a reality – Gareth Presch


Give a Day to the City started as an idea, a concept, a dream.

Over the last few years there have been different times when I had thought perhaps now is the time or this is the environment for the dream to happen. For a number of different reasons things never happened and the dream stayed a dream.

But when we gathered as Carlisle Ambassadors in the newly renovated Halston hotel. Which it’s self could have remained only a dream or a potential set of plans. But as the brilliant Simon Harrison spoke of the adventure of taking on a building like this he invited people to bring their ideas to the steering group.

So at the end of the event I went and introduced myself as my name is Andy and I have an idea….

The steering group loved the concept and the dream began to gather momentum. Long story short a few weeks ago we had the Give a Day to the City week. We saw around 250 people from lots of different backgrounds and groups coming together to Give a Day. It was humbling, inspiring and exciting to see just how much can get done when passionate generous people come together with a dream for the city.

There is a story of a lady called Barbara who is house bound for many different reasons and she said that she felt forgotten and that nobody cared. Through Give a Day we were able to bring hope to her home. A small team gathered to decorate her home, share stories and have lots of tea. She is blown away by the kindness of the city.

The list is long for all the things that we got up to. But there is a growing sense that we are only scratching the surface!

We have tapped into a ocean of generosity.

The really exciting thing about Give A Day is that people have ownership from the first moment. This is not about having to do something rather this is when we get to live a life bigger than our self. This is when we get to make a real different and not just talk about it. This is when real friendships starts and the community comes together. This is when the anybody who is for the city can work together for the city. The church works with the council, business works with the NHS, individuals work with community groups and schools work with the wider community.

Volunteers taking part in the Give a Day to Carlisle scheme, helping to create an outdoor barbeque area for staff and residents at the Water Street Family Accommodation, pictured out in front making use of their painting skills are Ian Jackson, left, and project manager Matthew Bond from Cito Cleaning, 3 October 2015 LOUISE PORTER 50080543F006.JPG

It feels a little like we started with a snowball and now we have an avalanche!

Looking forward the future is very bright. The Give a Day concept can work in the richest as poorest cities, we could even begin to help connect the two.

We have leant lots of the pilot year and moving forward we are committed to dream bigger, work smarter, multiply more and have fun.

So what about you?
What are you passionate about?
What would you like to see happen in your city, in your local community, in your hospital?
Get some passion in your belly, gather some people around you and find a project that you can do.
We started the first talk for Give a Day with these words “there are still unfulfilled dreams for your city, we are awakening the dreamers”

The potential dates for the Give a Day week next year is early June but this will be confirmed soon. If there is anything we can do to help then please contact

Give a Day to the City Carlisle Ambassadors

*The opinions expressed are the bloggers own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Innovation Summit.

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