Campaigning on any issue is a great way to get involved in something that you’re passionate about. Disabled people and carers used to feel left out, when every campaign involved a march to Hyde Park. But now the internet has made it easier to connect with others across the country, a new group of campaigners are finding it easier to get involved. The networks are growing.
We came together in a heart beat with a message. Seven women who had never met – all disabled and/or carers – desperate about the tsunami of cuts and threats falling on disabled people and carers. We had no plan – just a petition on the government website.
Two years later we don’t recognise ourselves. We are a close, well organised team and above all we are friends. But hard work and a common cause will do that to you. Sadly during this time one of our members died, but her spirit is still part of our team
We have in our way achieved part of what we set out to do. When we started our campaign, not many had heard the term Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA). Now it is a key demand amongst disability campaigners. In July Pat and Rosemary went to Westminster and attended a debate in Parliament calling for a CIA. We set out to get a debate and we achieved that. But the fight goes on.
No one could possibly say this attack on benefits and services is over – this is only the end of the beginning. And we are fighting as hard as ever.
Do we have any advice for other campaigners?
If you look at our web site you can see the details of what we did. The words of our petition, the hard work , the people who supported us. But perhaps the secret doesn’t lie in the details.
The public are confused. They don’t necessarily have a lot of time or interest in disability matters if they have not yet had experience of disability in their own lives. Perhaps the most important thing is the message. If you can take the time to get that right, then the message will deliver itself. It needs your support and dedication, it needs your help. It needs every one to work together. But the right message will grow wings and fly.
Watch out for new messages from Pat’s Petition. But in the mean time – we don’t have that Cumulative Impact Assessment yet. Sign the WOW petition