TeamKinetic is a proud Manchester company, and I am unashamedly Mancunian. My town. I often jokingly refer to as the centre of the universe when in other cities and countries. So the despicable actions of an individual on Monday night in my city have cut to my core. I have experienced anger, sadness, confusion, back to anger and now resolve.
Manchester was where TeamKinetic was born, working with Manchester City Council 8 years ago, we built the first version of our Volunteer Management Platform. Our colleagues in Manchester City Council knew that its people were its true capital, that if we could make it easy for the people of Manchester to give their time and skills, they would do this freely and they would make this city a beacon for best practice for volunteering.
So, it was with extra confusion I found myself watching the news and hearing how this young man, who was born in Manchester has committed this heinous and cowardly act. I found myself questioning my city and to some extent the impact of my last 8 years of work. As an individual who has worked for most of his professional life as a teacher in Manchester, then on helping to build communities, I was left feeling frustrated, disappointed, and sad. Had my work be a waste, had we failed?
But yesterday evening I listened to the amazing stories of bravery and generosity that were told, from a homeless man running into danger to help the injured or how taxi drivers took young people home free of charge, how the people of Manchester rallied to offer accommodation, to raise money and to provide food and refreshments to those that needed them, to give blood and then to stand shoulder to shoulder against this mindless hate in a beautiful demonstration of the spirit of the city.
Events like that on Monday, born of hate, are designed to test our resolve, to instil a sense of fear across our city. They are a reminder to the us all that extremism continues to fester in the dark corners of our communities and there are people out there that are attracted to the rhetoric of hate.
It is with fresh resolve then that I move forward with our work, with the knowledge that the majority of people of Manchester, Britain and the world share our optimism in the human spirit. That the depraved acts of individuals and small numbers of extremists do not drive us apart, but bring us together to reinforce our shared humanity and drive us to continue to make our communities stronger and more resilient. We know this work will be difficult and there will be more dark days ahead where our resolve will be tested again, but working together, helping each other we will beat the hate with love and kindness.
The team at TeamKinetic send their heartfelt condolences to everyone that was affected by Mondays attack and we make the promise that we will continue with our work to help to build stronger communities in Manchester, the UK and the world.