Based in the heart of Stroud, The Beacon is a community hub established to listen to, ask and attempt to solve questions about the challenges facing society today.

Here, founder of the centre, Marcus Blackett gives this week’s View from the Beacon.

CRISIS as an opportunity for social cooperation and transformation.

“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”. Ghandi

The coronavirus crisis is not a time to panic, but is an emerging opportunity for people to connect.

The neighbourly neighbours scheme is one example of a way to link people who live in close proximity to you; to put a note through your elderly neighbours door offering help, to establish information points and landline or WhatsApp groups and co-ordinate all of these, like a jigsaw, so that, theoretically, no one slips through the net.

This is an opportunity to show a heart response to those who have to self isolate

We can all individually create a network of support around our community far more effectively than any outer authority can.

Find out how on

Before Darwin, a Russian evolutionary theorist, called Pyotr Kropotkin, spoke about how cooperation made for the success of more advanced species.

Darwinism has been patented by the western scientific establishment for 150 years; the theory often lead to dangerous social experiments, such as in those in the 1930s.

These top-down social theories give those in power authority to do things of this kind.

However, Kropotkin-style cooperation is built from the ground up, by individuals acting in freedom and the proof the theory works is in the doing of it.

The shop window at 20 Kendrick Street is an information point.

As you walk past, find out how a crisis, if taken in the spirit of opportunity, can lead to societal transformation.

Marcus Blackett