Help us raise £55,000 to hire an on-the-ground, UK organiser for advocacy, campaigns and medical outreach. Your donation will support salary, taxes, travel, expenses and associated costs. Once we’ve reached half the goal (£27,500), we’ll start the search to fill this position. Keep reading to learn more!
Please note, as we are not yet a UK charity, you cannot gift aid this donation via #MEAction. If you want to gift aid your donation, you’ll need to donate to Doc Society (it will support Unrest medical and scientific outreach, one of the areas of work to be undertaken by this coordinator). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi. I’m Jennifer Brea, the co-founder of #MEAction, a global, grassroots advocacy network fighting for ME equality. I’m sorry this isn’t in video form, but I don’t quite have it in me today to record one (it’s been a long few weeks and an even longer year!) but after the incredible momentum created by Saturday, 12th May, I couldn’t wait for my recovery to start talking about what comes next.
In 2016, #MEAction launched the #MillionsMissing campaign. In just two short years, we’ve grown from actions in 12 cities to more than 300 around the globe! In London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield, Southampton and over two dozen more cities across the UK, you brought in more patients, more carers and family, more allies than ever before.
I couldn’t make it to my local protest this year as I am pretty badly crashed, so I recorded my speech in which I described a vision for what I want to achieve in Los Angeles , the city where I now live. The video isn’t really about LA: it’s about what I think we can all fight to achieve in our local communities, no matter where we live. It’s a vision for the next few years of powerful, local organising and outreach that is networked and coordinated for national and global impact. We saw that come true at this year’s actions in a way and on a scale that we’ve never seen before. We can continue to deploy the strategies and ethos of #MillionsMissing not just on 12th May, but throughout the year, by working together school by school, doctor by doctor, politician by politician until we’ve changed the world.
This is the power of a volunteer, grassroots movement. However, what we are finding here in the US – and the only way we were able to scale #MillionsMissing 2018 to 300 actions – is how much more impact we can have with full-time staff to support and coordinate the efforts of local organisers, build common resources and toolkits, and take a long-term, strategic view.
A few weeks ago, we launched an Indiegogo campaign to provide general support for the global #MEAction network. In it I said that, if we exceeded our goal, we would fundraise to hire a full-time organiser in the UK. But with the momentum you created, it’s clear that we can’t wait. We need to seize on this opportunity. To that end, we’re launching this second crowdfunding campaign expressly to hire a UK-based organiser. That person would be tasked with the following:
Community organising & outreach: Grow the movement by expanding the number of patients, carers, friends and family involved. Seek out opportunities to ally with disability rights organisations, MPs, MSPs, influencers and charities from related diseases. Grow our circle of physician and healthcare allies.
Coordination: Support #MEAction UK and #MEAction Scotland volunteers, local patient groups, and #MillionsMissing organisers around the country to take coordinated action throughout the year. Work with organisers to set long-term goals and develop a strategic plan to reach them.
Advocacy: Support our ongoing parliamentary outreach efforts and calls to action.
Medical & scientific outreach: Execute our efforts to accredit the documentary Unrest for continuing education and bring it to even more medical and nursing schools, as well as NHS trusts and boards.
Partnerships: We don’t want to duplicate the longstanding, hard won efforts of others. Wherever possible, we want to continue to collaborate with established U.K. charities and organisations. And yet we believe #MEAction has a unique role to play in the UK as the grassroots organizing and outreach arm of a national and global movement. I believe we will be most powerful when we work together, with the same overall mission, from different angles and perspectives.
Link Los Angeles to the UK: Our LA team will still be supporting efforts in the UK, as we have always done, working hard on social media and communications, graphic design and educational video creation; writing the continuing medical education curriculum; and even press outreach. But with the help of our UK organiser, we’ll be able to leverage our work and yours to much, much greater effect.
So if you live in the UK, and have the means to support both this and the Indiegogo campaign , it is so important to do so (we are still working hard for you in LA as well as organizers around the world!). But if you can only give to one #MEAction campaign, please support this one.
We want to hire as soon as possible. This is a hugely important time for people with ME, as the NICE guidelines are updated, as we continue to fight for research funding commensurate with disease burden, as we fight against the dismissal this disease still so often meets in doctors surgeries, we need all the organising power possible. As soon as we meet 50% of our goal, we’ll begin our search for #MEAction’s first, full-time UK team member. I can’t wait to get them working, so please give what you can (if you can) and help us spread and share this campaign.
Thank you for your support!