Thursday 4 March 2021

Inspired Ideas

 I love sharing good news stories, and things about people who have been doing good stuff in bad times. Two stories  I noticed this week...

Krystyna Pasko is an 18 year old Polish girl. She's in the Scouts and created a Facebook Page for her Warsaw  Scouts group, and has long been interested in Human Rights. 

She was concerned to read about people affected by Domestic Violence who were unable to access help - and that a French Pharmacy had a system whereby asking for a particular type of face mask was a signal that a person needed help.

She decided to set up an online fake cosmetics company., called Camomile and Pansies.

The idea is that an abuse victim can hide her requests for help by pretending to be shopping on line. When a customer asks for cream for a skin problem, a psychologist [not a regular shop assistant] asks how long the problem has been going on, how does it react to alcohol etc...and these are coded ways of determining what is happening- if the customer 'places an order' and gives her address, then the authoritieswoill visit the home to offer help.

The Polish Women's Rights Centre, an NGO are supporting the site by supplying psychologists and lawyers who work with the site. Since the launch nearly 400 people [mostly under 40, and 10% male] have been in touch. Krystyna won an EU Civil Solidarity award [with a £10,000 prize] for the idea, which enabled her to set it all up. 

I am so impressed that this young woman has recognised a need, has seen that her generation are happiest communicating on the internet - and has provided a way of helping those who are desperate for escape from abuse. Well done Krystyna! [full story here]

And here's Jonathan Cunningham- the sort of guy I really admire. Having finished University he joined the Army- serving in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq...and then he had a cardiac arrest. This changed his outlook on life, work and family, He made a full recovery and was promoted to chief of staff over the NW Army. Here he rolled out a plan to engage with disaffected youth in deprived areas. It was a huge success, in 2009 the Queen awarded him the MBE.

And he changed direction again - first becoming a director in the Wirral Foundation Trust Hospitals, and then setting up a consultancy, speaking on business models, resilience and counter-terrorism. And now he and his wife run Rosebank - a care home specialising in dementia and learning disabilities. He has been incredibly vocal during the pandemic, accusing the PM of throwing the Care Home Sector 'under the bus'

But he doesn't just complain - he acts. A shortage of proper PPE meant he had to devise alternative ways to protect his staff - so he bought them ski goggles and kagoules. And he knew that lack of contact is a terrible thing for a dementia patient- he is aware that they need the reinforcement of visits from loved ones, and mental stimulation. He devised all sorts of creative ways to enable them to keep in touch. So his latest move? He has bought an electric rickshaw and equipped it with an all round perspex screen. 

And now this caring, witty, intelligent bloke takes his residents for rides - along Lord Street, Southport's Victorian Boulevard, even enjoying the occasional icecream, as they feel the breeze, and the sun on their faces. What a true source of joy for everyone involved!
Keeping his residents safe during the pandemic  has been a great burden he admits- but says his years in the army taught him to be responsible for the men in his care. And being a family run home, he is not answerable to the 'group protocols' of large chain care-homes. 

Jonathan's passion for life is evident, he says this "Live life to the full, exercise every single day, love people and do things that scare you! Life is about putting back, adding value and always improving people’s lives. Life is short - let’s do it!"

Thank you Krystyna and Jonathan - you challenge and inspire us - God strengthen you in all your efforts to bless and help others.


  1. What lovely, inspiring stories!

  2. In spite of the some of the horror stories it's so good to know that there are some lovely, kind and thoughtful people around.

  3. I find it a real boost to hear some good news stories so thank you.

  4. In these dark days, it is essential that we share the good news - it is an encouragement to others.


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