We don’t know about you, but in the last few months; we’ve noticed that from talking to others – people are feeling powerless and anxious about the future, more so than ever. In fact according to the Office for National Statistics, Britain is the ‘capital of loneliness’ and in the face of current political events, growing numbers of people are reporting feelings of powerlessness and despair.
Whilst many of us cheer ourselves up with cat videos on YouTube, weekly wine time and enough cake to temporarily forget the woes of the world, one Brighton babe who has decided enough is enough is Children’s author and marketing consultant Alice Reeves.
30 year old Alice, is launching BelongCon, the first ever conference about community, acceptance and belonging which will take place on Tuesday 28th March at the Brighthelm Centre. The event will see a varied range of amazing speakers cover subjects, including campaigning, combating homelessness, breaking out of your bubble, building communities, and self-expression.
“Over the last year, it feels like there’s been a shift in peoples’ feelings about the world around them,” Alice tells us. “It felt for a long time that we were being progressive and moving forward in terms of celebrating diversity and encouraging acceptance of others, then various events over the last year – from bathroom bills to Brexit to Trump to rises in hate crime – have felt like we’re taking steps backwards.
“There are a lot of people – myself included – who felt safe within the echo chamber of our Facebook feeds, and these events have rocked our worlds. I noticed that usually upbeat people were feeling depressed, disconnected, and hopeless and I kept wishing someone would do something to show us that it would be OK if we all stood together, stood up for what we believe in, and publicly spoke out about the importance of communities for creating change that moves towards a wholly accepting world.
“I’ve felt breaks in belonging throughout my life which have left me feeling alone and deeply depressed, yet what’s saved me every time is finding a community of people with shared experiences and passions who want to support each other.
“That’s why BelongCon is happening, because I don’t want anyone to wake up in the morning and feel like they’re disconnected and alone. I believe we can create a world in which everyone feels like they belong – we just all have to be in on it.
In a nutshell; BelongCon aims to inspire all those who attend to make a positive difference to the world. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
“We have nine inspiring speakers who will talk about how they’re making positive changes in the world by campaigning, volunteering, building networks, bringing people together, or sharing their own experiences as a way of helping others,” Alice explains.
“It’s going to be an inspiring, uplifting evening that shows how powerful we can be when we take action and seek to help others. Our aim is that everyone leaves feeling connected, empowered, and positive about the world we can create.
“We’re going to create a gorgeous evening that welcomes everyone – whether you’re already changing the world, want to make a difference but don’t know how, or don’t even know if you can make a difference (spoiler: you can). I would personally love to see you there, and hear about what’s important to you.”
BelongCon takes place on Tuesday 28th March between 6-9pm at the Brighthelm Centre