I hope that you will endeavour to be very useful and not spend all your time pleasing yourself.
Dubbed the ‘angel of prisons’, Elizabeth Fry was a highly influential philanthropist, activist and social entrepreneur in the 19th century. She initiated the dramatic reform of prison conditions, using her influence to cause prisoners to be treated more humanely. Her Quaker beliefs were the driving force behind her work.
She was also depicted on the five pound note from 2001 to 2016.
From the age of 18, moved by Quaker teachings, her heart broke for those living in poverty, prison and sickness.
'Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal.'
She had little influence at the time, but she did what she could, by bringing food and clothing to the women and children imprisoned at Newgate without trial. This happened for a short time before personal circumstances forced her to lay this work aside. Four years later, however, she returned and started a programme teaching women to sew and read. A year later she founded the Reformation for Female Prisoners in Newgate. Over a period of time, this grew into a widespread, multifaceted social enterprise network which soon impacted the government. Her initiatives tackled issues including homelessness, slavery, and health care training.
She was admired by powerful leaders including Queen Victoria, the King of Prussia, and was the initial inspiration of Florence Nightingale.
If you are inspired by social enterprise and are desperate to make a dent in social injustice, don't put pressure on yourself and try to start a revolution quickly. Tempting though it might be to strive for greatness in an instant, allow yourself to slow down. Look around and ask yourself what small impact you can have right now, in your neighbourhood. Put your whole heart into the small acts of kindness you can do now, and you never know what could grow from it over time!
To learn more about Elizabeth Fry’s life and the incredible things she did, click on this link: http://www.biographyonline.net/humanitarian/elizabeth-fry.html
Also, you can start making a difference here, by donating to these amazing local charities:
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