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>Hug-a-community-activist

>Thursday, 26 February 2009

Well folks, there was no sighting of a hug between third sector minister Kevin Brennan and Rita Patel. But R&R can report that it was the recipient of one from the community innovator! I couldn’t really say no, she insisted. But it made R&R realise that this warm and friendly approachability is why Patel has managed to achieve what she has with the Peepul Centre.

After some quick web research, R&R found that hugging is Rita’s thing. She has refused to shake hands with Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Prince Charles because of a desire to form connections and break down barriers through The Hug.

Okay, so now we know. And Patel may well have hugged Brennan when R&R wasn’t looking. But does it simply show Patel’s unorthodox approach to meeting and greeting, or the third sector’s ability to reach out to government, more than vice versa?

Patel did end the conference by saying the most valuable thing she took away from the event was Brennan’s telephone number. No doubt she will be using it to ensure the government gets things done…

This is a bloated R&R (due to all the fried snacks, cakes and Indian food consumed at event) signing off…

Originally posted 23.25

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About Herpreet Kaur Grewal

Herpreet Kaur Grewal is a newspaper-trained journalist, editor and commentator. She formerly wrote and edited a section for the social policy and politics magazine Regeneration & Renewal. She has worked for The Times of London and her articles have featured in The Guardian, The Observer and The Daily Express. She specialises in social deprivation issues, gender, human rights , arts and culture.

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Herpreet Kaur Grewal is a journalist and commentator currently based in New York City.

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