Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Volunteering and doing

Hiya - in the days after the election of Donald Trump I heard lots of people saying that they want to do something, and I think a lot of people are confused about what, exactly, to do. I don't really have the answers, but I thought I'd just put down a few starting ideas of actions you can take. One thing I think we have seen in Brexit and then again in the election in the USA of Donald Trump, on a platform of social division targeting women and minorities, is a sense of disunity. I think people whom I've spoken to are looking to establish a feeling of connection, and I think part of the answer to the disaffection that enabled these political events to happen could be to get involved somehow. Here are some opportunities for that. This isn't intended to be preachy but helpful: I certainly need to do more myself to be involved, both politically and in my community. (I will update this post with other ideas as they're suggested to me)

Join a political party that isn't the Tories or UKIP!
I'm a member of Labour, and while I understand that there are many people who feel alienated from party politics, and think Labour has not provided sufficient leadership or opposition on topics such as welfare or Brexit, I believe you can still become part of a movement, engage with ideas, and influence party decisions by attending meetings (something I personally need to do more). You can join Labour or another party here: 
Labour: https://join.labour.org.uk/
The Green Party: https://my.greenparty.org.uk/civicrm/membership/joining
Or even the Lib Dems!: https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration

Support or volunteer for a charity!

  • The Albert Kennedy Trust provides support for young LGBT people who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment. LGBT people are at significantly greater risk of homelessness. You could mentor a vulnerable person if you yourself are sorted and LGBT, or give money to support their work: http://www.akt.org.uk/2/spg522/albert-kennedy-trust-helping-young-lgbt-people/can-you-help/volunteers/volunteer-selection-and-training.aspx 
  • Arts Emergency helps young people get access to education and opportunities in the arts. You could make a difference by mentoring someone aged 16-19 and giving them the benefit of your experience and knowledge. Here are the deets: http://arts-emergency.org/
  • Domestic violence is a massive problem in Britain as it is everywhere. Take direct action with Sisters Uncut (http://www.sistersuncut.org/#join) and support Women's Aid (https://www.womensaid.org.uk/donate/)
  • Fawcett are a good charity campaigning for equality and women's rights. Their research is particularly good, helping to influence public conversations about female representation in the public sphere. Join here: http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/become-member/
  • Friendship Works is a charity working with children who need more social support. You could help them out financially or volunteer to mentor a kid, doing stuff like going to the cinema, and providing general support: http://www.friendshipworks.org.uk/aboutus/what-we-do
  • First Story believes lives can be changed through writing. Writers work with young people to foster creativity and improve communication skills. If you're a writer you might volunteer to help out, or you could follow them on Twitter, shout about their activities, etc etc: http://www.firststory.org.uk/about-us/
  • Have a bit of a google around and see if you can use your education to help kids with homework locally. I'm coming up short but I'm told this is a thing.
  • Become a governor at a school.
Help out at a food bank
You can find your nearest foodbank here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank

Refugees
Here's a slightly rusty Guardian article with some ideas for how to help in the ongoing refugee crisis: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/03/refugee-crisis-what-can-you-do-to-help
Donate to Help Refugees: http://www.helprefugees.org.uk/how-to-help


I'd also add that, if you're on Twitter and you're white, I think a really good thing you can do to change your own opinions and environment is start following more women and people of colour. 

That's all for now, I'll update this. 



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