Third sector well-being

Third sector organisations are voluntary and community organisations which includes charities, associations, self-help groups and community groups, social enterprises etc. They are neither public nor private and are independent from government.  They usually play a role in history and culture and are value driven to improve public welfare, the environment or well-being.  Any surpluses are reinvested in the pursuit of their aims.

#bellringing fits firmly into that sector.  We are there for the benefit of the church and communities we ring in. The social and well-being advantages of #bellringing are clear, it can give people a sense of purpose, an opportunity to socialise with others, a new hobby and sparks offshoot new interests in history, architecture, even engineering.  Getting out and about, meeting new people, developing new skills are all transferable to the workplace and great for young people to add to their higher education applications.  Societies are often charities, or at least their bell restoration fund is a registered charity.

As far as well-being goes, #bellringing ticks all 5 areas:

  1. Connecting with other people.  Bellringing is a team activity.  It requires connection with others and leads to other social activities like outings, pubs, and other non-ringing social activities;
  2. Being physically active.  You need to be able to climb spiral staircases (often), being able to raise arms above your head repeatedly.  There is a gentle cardio rhythm to it.  Its not all about brute strength.
  3. Learning new skills.  It can take about 15 hours to learn how to handle a bell on your own, that’s before you add other ringers into the mix, then there are more and more complex methods to learn, if you want to.  There really is no limit.
  4. Giving to others.  This is a sense of community.  Doing your bit for the church or for a community activity such as ringing for Armistice or a local event or celebration.
  5. Paying attention to the present moment.  This is essential.  You need to concentrate on your bell handling, your method ringing and everything in between. You can’t afford to let your mind wander.

Perhaps we should lobby to get #bellringing offered on prescription for people who are lonely or feeling a bit low.  We should be offering it out as adult education classes, young people’s after school activities or holiday activities.  Some already do this but wouldn’t it be great if we could spread that net wider. 

I’ve signed up to attend a webinar for third sector organisations on Better Community Engagement for Charities to see if there is anything we can learn.

Hmmm, thinking caps on.


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