Why WE do what WE do
The most vulnerable people in society are told that poverty is their own fault. It says so much about the ignorance of society that we collectively ignore these obvious social issues because “we are all right, Jack”. The voices of despair are hushed by the huge power of capitalist propaganda and those of us who do still have an ounce of humanity left in our souls feel helpless. What can WE do?
It is only a couple of generations ago that everyone in the community helped each other, street after street after street, people all knew each other and helped and looked after each other in any way they could. When did things change? Why do we feel we need the new phones, the bigger TV’s, the more powerful cars, the gold jewellery? We need to get our community’s back, we need to start caring more, we need to not have people starving and homeless in this day and age! What can WE do?
Whatever has happened to humanity, whatever is currently happening to humanity, it is happening to all of us. How did the global refugee crisis get so bad? What do all the wars achieve? The UN has called for a summit to address this but Medecins San Frontiere have backed out saying “we no longer have any hope that the World Humanitarian Summit will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/36279977 . What can WE do?
But all of that is abroad, remember we’re alright Jack! So, what do we have happening in this country?
• Food bank use remains high – over 1 million three-day food supplies were provided last year (Trusseltrust.org).
• Homelessness – there is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all. What is known is that figures are rising (Crisis.org.uk).
• Child Poverty – one in four children in the UK today is affected by poverty. Since 2010 the number of children in absolute poverty has increased by 0.5 million as a direct result of tax and benefit decisions made by this Government (cpag.org.uk).
• Mental health, addiction & dependency support – one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year; It is estimated that only 25% of people with mental health problems will receive support each year; Around 5140 people took their own lives in England & Wales in 2013, an average increase of 4% since 2012 with a 23% rise in Wales; 50% of people wait over 3 months for therapies (mind.org.uk)
• Cuts to local services have hit young people, women, elderly & the vulnerable (Unison.org.uk)
Why have these things happened? Why are these things happening to the poorest in our society? Why do the riches of 1% of the World’s population outweigh the “riches” of the other 99% of the population? Why are children in the world not being educated? Why is healthcare not offered as a basic right to every single person? What can WE do?
WE SHALL OVERCOME (WSO)
WSO 2016 campaign takes place between October 3rd – October 9th – help us to help others who are struggling.
What is WSO16? We shall overcome (WSO) is a simple idea. During the week of 3rd-9th October 2016, hundreds of people across the UK will aim to organise a series of gigs or events in their local communities with the purpose of doing something practical to help those affected by austerity policy cuts. WSO is a banner under which musicians, artists and community organisers independently run and promote gigs and events in their local area, raising money and/or produce for charities directly in their own community.
Who runs WSO16? We do, you & me. There is no central command but WSO is steered by a community of volunteers who created the idea. Each event is independently run and promoted locally. WSO is an online community and we each do what we can to promote each other’s gigs and events.
WSO history: WSO was first established in 2015. Events took place over the weekend of 2/3/4th October 2015. The community grew and grew and eventually 250 gigs/events in 123 towns/cities across 8 countries and 3 continents, raised an estimated £125,000 of cash, food, clothing and bedding for those hardest hit by austerity.
WSO16: It doesn’t matter which side of the political fence you are on, you may have seen or experienced yourself or in your own community, the devastating effects that austerity cuts have had and are still having on some people.
WSO Liverpool & Merseyside is coordinated by Val Colvin, with a number of people helping run events.
What can WE do? What do I have to do to get involved? – organise an event to take place between 3rd-9th October 2016. The event can be live music, poetry, comedy, theatre, DJ, film, sports, cake sale, sponsored run, food bank collections, any event that can raise money or produce to help those suffering from austerity cuts and poverty or homelessness or mental health issues or ………… the list can go on and on.
We are asking you to help humanity in a very small way. We start this venture with no money, everyone involved works voluntarily, either by giving their time or space for free. WSO Liverpool & Merseyside does not handle any money/donations, we organise the events and volunteers from the charities collect the money. So what do we need? We need you to volunteer, we need you to put on an event, we need you to help, we need you to form communities, we need you to help those who are struggling, we need you!
WE MIGHT NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT WE WILL CHANGE SOME PEOPLES LIVES. This is why we do what we do.
Thank you for all from the bottom of my heart for all of your support last year, let’s better it this year.