Today’s Star columnist: Zach Smith, member of Ecclesall Church’s Uncut Project

Zach Smith
Zach Smith
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This week my Church youth group, the Uncut Project, has been at Christ Church Pitsmoor for three days to help prepare for a fun day in Nottingham Cliff Park. On the first two days we prepared and planned for the event, litter picking in the park and streets around Pitsmoor. We also had time for praying and reflecting on what we were doing together; God’s had a lot of requests for good weather over the past few days!

On the big day everything thankfully went to plan and, whether by divine or meteorological intervention, the weather held out and it was a fantastic, sunny day (although a cool breeze would have been nice while manning the barbecue). We filled the park with a bouncy castle, face painting, football and basketball, crafts, a prayer tent and the barbecue, where we served more than 200 burgers.

The day was a huge success, hundreds of people from Pitsmoor joined in with the fun. It was wonderful to see everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to get involved with smiling faces all over the park. People from different religious and cultural groups came together to play sport and chat over a burger or two, I think it showed how wrong the oft-repeated myth of ‘lack of integration’ in Sheffield really is. I made so many friends over those few days. The most disruption we had was a couple of children trying to sneak to the front of the burger queue. It was an amazing experience for those running it. We were worn out at the end of the day, but we’d had some of the best times of the year. I’d encourage everyone to get involved with your local community, everyone can teach you something.

While we were litter picking it was sad to see that for every street we cleared, there were others covered in bottles, cans and paper.

I was reminded of the story of a boy on the beach throwing washed-up starfish back into the sea to save them when a man tells him he’ll never throw them all back and that what he’s doing is meaningless; “It’s not meaningless to him,” he replies, as he throws another starfish to safety. No matter how much you can do to help, it’s going to mean a lot to someone. The more people get involved, the bigger the difference; the whole of Sheffield can be transformed in no time.