The Temptation of Ego

By James Sharp – Chair of Trustees

I’ve been around loads of charities in my time and one TEMPTATION that we as trustees are aware of but refuse to succumb to, is one of ego!

So many charities feel they need to spread themselves as thinly as possible to be all things to all people. Of course, when it comes to food and people who are vulnerable, there is much to be done. None of us need look far to realise that for many people the world is a dark, brutal place where simply to survive is the best many can hope for.

So, the temptation of ego is that WE must do ALL we can. Charities can easily collapse under the strain of feeling that they must grow and provide and fundraise and organise, only to burn out and fold. It’s admirable, but ultimately foolish. We know what we’re good at, at Hope For Food. We’re a bunch of enthusiastic and committed volunteers who provide a food safety net for the most vulnerable families and for people who are vulnerably housed. This is perhaps why people trust us with their hard earned money and why we are pretty easy to work with – it may be why you reading this, are one of our valued volunteers or considering becoming one.

Of course, there are many other associated and deeply complex issues around housing, befriending, job creation and debt management etc. But this isn’t what we will ever get involved with, it’s just not us. It’s not what we have expertise in or energy for. Instead, we work in partnership with others who provide other services, and we signpost to them and they to us.

The local BCP Access To Food forum and the Homelessness Partnership brings all the organisations together who work in our field; we can only defeat the evils of hunger and poverty by working together, each person and organisation knowing what we are able to offer and doing that with all the commitment we can.