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The good among the bad

Itís so easy to become overwhelmed by all the bad news in the press and in the world around us. This assembly encourages us to look for the good and celebrate it when we find it.

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by all the bad news in the press and in the world around us. This assembly encourages us to look for the good and celebrate it when we find it.

Preparation and materials

  • The visit of Ant and Dec can be found on YouTube (Comic Relief – Ant and Dec).

Assembly

  1. Do you ever get fed up of hearing bad news? The newspapers are full of examples of bad news: terrible crimes, violence, atrocities of war, lies of politicians, cruel abuse of young children … the list goes on and on. Bad news is all around us, because bad things are happening all around us. Even in our own experience, we come across lying, cheating, stealing, bullying, hatred, jealousy – maybe even on a daily basis.

    In the light of all the bad in the world, you could be forgiven for asking, ‘Where is the good news?’ ‘Is there any good to be found?’ ‘Is anyone doing anything good out there?’
  2. Becky is one example of someone who is doing some good right here in the UK. Becky works for a charity called Gateshead Young Carers.

    Through her work she has got to know many young carers: children who care for a family member such as a sick mother, a disabled brother, or a father struggling with addiction. She sees how hard life is for these children, who do not experience a normal childhood; a young carer has to grow up quickly.

    She cannot go out and play with her friends because she has to get the tea ready. Or he can’t go to a party because there is no one to stay at home with his dad. Doing homework is hard when there is no peace in the house. Most of these children feel that they are the only one in this situation. They feel very isolated. They have no one to talk to.

    So Becky and people like her spend time getting to know them. They take them to do the week’s shopping or to buy school uniforms, new football boots or presents for Christmas. They encourage the young carers to join a regular group, like Scouts or a dance class, so that they can get out and meet other people their age and do something each week for themselves. Becky arranges get-togethers for children and young people in similar situations, so that they have fun together with people who understand what they are going through.

    Becky loves her work. She loves giving a piece of childhood back to those who have lost it. She loves seeing these children grow in confidence and self-esteem. She loves being able to show an interest in the young people and to support them on a one-to-one basis.
  3. Organizations like Comic Relief and Children in Need support the good work of Becky and people like her all over the UK. These charities seek out groups that are doing good work among children and young people and provide funding for particular projects. Funding from Comic Relief provided the resources for Becky’s young carers to get away from it all on a residential holiday. Funding from Children in Need enabled Becky and the other workers to set up a homework club and some home tuition for young carers who struggle with school and homework.

    The good work that Becky and others like her do would not be possible without this kind of external funding.
  4. In February this year (2009), Becky and her team received some very good news. Someone from Comic Relief was coming to visit their project with a film crew to see the work that they did and hand over a cheque. No one knew who would come, but everyone was very excited.

    All the staff and many young carers themselves gathered together that afternoon and waited to see who would walk through the door. It was Ant and Dec! Who better to visit a youth project in the North East than Ant and Dec! The pair stayed and chatted and joined in all afternoon.

    The team were delighted that the profile of their work would be raised. The kids were amazed that people like Ant and Dec would be interested in them and their lives. The people at Comic Relief had heard of the good being done in this place and had sent the right people to recognize and celebrate the good.

Time for reflection

At the start of this assembly, we reflected on all the bad things that go on around the world and the bad news associated with them that we see and read every day.

Then we heard about Becky and the good work that people like her are doing all over the UK. We thought about organizations like Comic Relief that support this good work.

How do you respond to the bad news in the media?

Do you see more bad than good in the world around you?

How do you respond to the good things that you see happening?

What could you do to support the good in our world?

Take time to reflect on these questions as you listen to the words of this prayer. You may make them your own if you wish.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

The world is full of good news and bad news.

Our own lives are filled with good and bad experiences.

Even within ourselves, we make good choices and we make bad choices.

Help us to find the good among the bad,

Like a flower growing alone on a rubbish tip.

Help us to celebrate good wherever we find it.

Help us to support those who do good whenever we meet them.

Help us to be the good and reject the bad.

So let it be.
Amen.

Hymn

‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: October 2009   (Vol.11 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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