The Final Countdown – 5 Weeks To Go

5 weeks to go until construction starts on the Humanist Garden.

“He aha te mea hui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata”.
“What is importaWhat do l need the pallets for? I’ll show you next week!nt? It’s people, it’s people, it’s people”. Maori proverb.

A few months ago, whilst living in New Zealand I had the opportunity to visit two community gardens in the Tauranga region of the Bay of Plenty. These gardens had been created by a local charity, the Good Neighbour Trust, to help bring communities together. Sharing knowledge and produce, socialising and supporting – neighbours building neighbourhoods – places where people have a sense of belonging. The Trust’s aim was simply to transform communities through simple acts of generosity and kindness.

Community gardens have been shown to have a very positive effect on physical and mental health. A report by Essex University proposed five evidenced based ‘Ways to Wellbeing’ – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, give. Community gardens provide an ideal environment for people to connect, socialise and make friends, be active, observe the natural world, share knowledge and experience, give time, share abundance and help others.

Going back to ‘simple acts of generosity and kindness’. Last week I purchased six pallets from Shropshire Pallets and explained that I needed them the show garden. The following day I returned as I needed two more and was given them free of charge. It really made my day. So a big thank you to Shropshire Pallets.

What do I need the pallets for? I’ll show you next week!


Enjoy the week ahead.


Resolution Revolution

The BHA is launching “Resolution Revolution” over the new year period, a major new project from which aims to transform the way we make and carry out New Year resolutions. In response to last year’s group survey some group members indicated that they wanted to do more by way of social action, and Resolution Revolution can form a focal point for charitable and socially-minded group activity.

Resolution Revolution is a twist on the traditional New Year resolutions and instead of doing less of one thing and doing more of another, people will be encouraged to make a resolution to do something for others; ‘mentoring students or young entrepreneurs’ ‘sweep a neighbour’s icy path’, ‘volunteer with a local charity’. Resolution Revolution aims to get more people volunteering and doing things to help others and support a more cohesive society with the emphasis very much on things people can do rather than things they pay for or donate to.

Local Groups join the revolution!

Members of local groups can sign up either together or individually to make a resolution for 2011. The Resolution Revolution website is the place where people can get ideas, find out more about making effective resolutions, see what others are doing, make pledges and then tell the world how it worked out. There will be regular updates for participants so that they can see what has happened so far and ensure the momentum is maintained.

Local humanist groups can set up their own pages so they can work collectively on a project. Contact to request your own affiliated groups page when the site goes live next week.

This is an opportunity for groups to raise their profile both by talking about Resolution Revolution and their group resolution or individual resolutions to their local press in the new year. We can supply you with a list of local media contacts, supported by an outline press release from BHA which you can amend to suit your story. Posters are also available from the website for your local library, community centre, doctor’s surgery and other public notice boards.

For schools we are running a pilot scheme, packs including lesson plans, posters, pledge charts, certificates and badges are available and we are looking for as many schools as possible to take part. There is a flyer attached for teachers, please feel free to pass it on to anyone who might be interested.

Why is the BHA doing it?

One of the main perspectives of the humanist approach is that individual responsibility, social cooperation and mutual respect are vital. By taking positive action, people can solve the problems of society by actively engaging with each other and basing their actions on shared human values. Human beings helping other human beings is the only help we can receive.

Additionally, the BHA sees the benefit in strong local communities where people are engaged and empowered to take action on issues that affect them. This project is one way to help build such a society.

The website is designed to be separate from the BHA’s online presence and, although run by the BHA, the materials and resources produced will be accessible to all regardless of religion or belief. In future years we will be looking to expand the reach of the project by involving many more organisations.

For more information, schools packs, posters, please contact

For local press data or to create a group at contact

Personal stories

We’re also looking for individuals to profile. If someone in your group has a good idea for a socially-minded New Year resolution and would like to feature on the site with a photograph and description of their pledge then please contact

Bob Churchill

Head of Membership and Promotion

British Humanist Association (BHA)