Showing Jersey at its best

Voices | Published:

By Jonathan Renouf


AS a columnist I’m probably guilty of focusing too often on the negatives. So it’s good to focus on a really heart-warming story that shows Jersey at its best – and also, in a small way, hints at how we might build a better future for the Island.

Recently this paper has reported on the opening of a new shop at the Acorn site in Trinity, run by the Jersey Employment Trust. It is designed to showcase products made by people with disabilities. Even better, these products have been repaired, repurposed or upcycled from material left at La Collette that would otherwise go to landfill. This work helps prepare and train people with disabilities for the world of work.

So many good things come together in this story. It’s a really well thought through, community-based project that genuinely changes lives for the better. It’s also about sustainability. A small island like Jersey should be doing everything it can to recycle, to reduce its waste footprint, to develop the talents of everyone, to protect the environment, and to live in a way that is sustainable in the long term.

It feels good to be writing about a positive story this week, as this is my final column. A couple of days ago I handed in my resignation from the BBC. Next year, my family and I are setting off to travel around the world for seven months – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us. After that, we’re moving back to live in Jersey.

I always felt that the point of this column was to offer the perspective of a Jerseyman living ‘abroad’. Soon, that perspective will no longer exist.

Thank you to those who took the time to respond to my thoughts – it was much appreciated. Jersey is incredibly lucky to have a daily newspaper that offers a forum for civilised debate, at a time when it is all too easy to retreat into social-media echo chambers, or resort to divisive and simplistic rhetoric.

I’m going to miss much about Cookham and the Chilterns, where I’ve lived for the last ten years, but it’s time to swap the call of red kites for the roar of the sea.

I’m coming home.


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