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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.
#MEAction’s vision for the next few years is 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 – 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.
Our UK-based co-ordinator would be the following:
Advocacy: Support our ongoing parliamentary outreach efforts and calls to action, and helping us fight for an autumn House of Commons debate.
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
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: #MEAction’s LA team will continue 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.
We hired an amazing UK coordinator, and we need to the support to keep her on and working with the dedicated activists in the UK. 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.
Thank you for your support!