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Fighting for Justice – Just Love Exeter

When we turn on the news nowadays we are bombarded with disaster stories from across the world; wars, earthquakes, political violence. Sometimes these seem a little too far away from us to comprehend, after all how many of us have lived in a war zone?

What if I told you that we are living in a war zone – the modern day war of survival, not of the fittest, but of the privileged. Right here in Exeter, and in our own home towns too, there is a war raging that many are losing; forced to sleep every night on the streets, forced into modern-day slavery, forced to suffer violence and abuse. This is a war much closer to home, and is a war that we can help stop.

Just Love Exeter is a movement striving to reach out and heal our broken community, spreading love and teaching equality. These aims are simple, humble, and so achievable. In this city, many live lonely, hungry, and hurt, but Just Love is changing that.

Just Love is a national movement which originated in Oxford when a group of Christian students decided that it was time to do something about the homelessness in their city. After having to literally climb over people sleeping in front of their main hall to get to breakfast each morning, they decided to create a group to work in community outreach, doing what they could to help these people. Slowly but surely, Just Love spread across Britain, and is now an active and recognised body with groups working in many cities, such as Bath, Manchester, Durham, Cambridge, Bristol, and so many more. It is relatively new to Exeter, with this being its third year of outreach in our community.

The aim of Just Love stems from a Christian outlook, with a desire to share love and equality. Just Love is in these cities across the UK “ to inspire and release every Christian student to pursue the biblical call to social justice”. But it goes so much deeper than this. Love is free to all of us, and we have a right, let alone a very real human need, to feel love and be loved. A world without compassion is a broken one; we can see that every day when we watch the news and see the devastation of wars and conflicts, brought about by lack of compassion, understanding, and love for our fellow humans.

Here in Exeter, Just Love is working in a number of practical ways. Every Saturday morning there is the Just Love breakfast, held near to the Vue Cinema, where a cooked breakfast is provided for the homeless who need revival and nourishment. There is work with the Restore Charity, helping those who have been trafficked and enslaved to rebuild their lives. Modern-day slavery is real and it is happening in this city. After talking to one of the members, Verity Roberts, the importance of Just Love was so clear, and her desire and passion to simply make every person of this city feel their worth and value was humbling. How many times have we seen the homeless on the streets, wishing we could do more than avoid their eye contact as we shuffle on past? Just Love is the way to do that, and it starts with nothing more than raising awareness of the reality of life in this city. On the 9th of November, Just Love is holding an event called ‘Consider you Consumerism’, aiming to raise awareness about what we can do everyday to reduce our plastic consumption and help save the planet. There are so many events like this and you can find them on Facebook on the Just Love Exeter page, or you can also follow them on Instagram (@justloveexeter).

Just Love is a movement which has the potential to revolutionise our city and our nation. It’s all too easy to live our lives ignoring the reality of hardship and suffering that many people, who where probably once in a privileged situation like ourselves, endure each and every day. Change something today. Get involved and help our community. Above all, just love.

Exeter University Student, studying English Literature and Spanish Athlete and Foodie (see @what.katie.does98 on Instagram) The future Kate Addie...
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