Wednesday, 18 June 2014

week 25 - getting behind petitions

Hi Everyone!

I'm ashamed to admit I let my day-to-day life interfere with Project52 and missed out on doing a week 24 post.  Tsk Tsk!

As those of you who are regular readers will know, I recently completed Live Below The Line 2014, which I think took a bigger toll on me than I first expected, as I haven't been quite myself, but I'm putting this down to not having all the fresh fruit and veg I usually go through, so I should be back up to speed again soon!

I recently joined SHINE, as a spina bifida sufferer I am hoping the charity will be able to help me, and that I will also be able to help them in October for Spina bifida awareness day. I have attended one meeting and I am hopeful that one day another member will want to guest blog on here to help share their experiences on what can be a very misunderstood or scary condition.

In the weeks leading up to this point, I completed an online course in hyperlocal community journalism, and am now embarking on another course on sustainability as I am keen to learn how Project52 can become sustainable and more beneficial for you, the reader.

As a regular petition signer, I am vocal online on what I support, and am please to announce that two petitions I had signed have had positive outcomes. These are to have the anti-homeless spikes removed from a location in London, and another to have a young lad with autism moved to a specialist team led unit in his home county, as his current one is over 10 hours travel away and as a result has missed out on family life.

If you would like to read about these two petitions or perhaps even add your own signature to them, you can read them here: please-bring-my-son-back-home-bringjoshhome-   and here: -remove-the-anti-homeless-spikes I am pleased that my voice has contributed in a positive way.

This week's 'I want to talk about...' will be about how to write a good petition or spot a well written one with a valid cause. Don't forget to drop by later this week to read all about it!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Week 23 - It's On! live below the line 2014

  I am now in day 3 of my Live Below The Line challenge week, if you want to read up on how I have been doing with it, visit: So far I have felt hungry. A lot. I have however raised £144 for The Hunger Project UK, so hopefully it will all be worth it.

It has been an interesting challenge, it has made me scrutinize my portion sizes so much so that I am having to weigh ingredients before I cook a meal so that I can work out the cost of it. I have managed to stay under the £1 budget for each day so far, which is good as I thought I'd be pushing it almost every time. My sleep hasn't been effected by it too much, as I have tried to have a biscuit close to bed time so that I do not sleep on an empty stomach, and I may have lost 2 Ibs in doing it to this point, but I have never heard my stomach grumble so much 2 hours after a meal. It would be dangerous to do this on a full time basis as there is no fruit at all in my meals and vegetables are tinned or frozen. I'm really starting to miss having bananas now. It is startling how much we take having a roof over our heads and a full, really full tummy. I may be on minimum wages and not be in the life style or career I planned for myself, but I am feeling more grateful for what I do have. I also have some chocolate saved for Saturday as my reward for the week.

This week is also the start of petitions & protest season here at project 52. As a regular petition signer, I run a facebook group for sharing petitions in, which has until recently been largely unnoticed. I made the mistake of signing and sharing a petition that was aimed at the removal of a band as a headline act at a music festival due to the fact this particular band has been glamorizing bear hunting. I posted that I had signed and shared it in my group for the attention of the petition writers. What followed has been a steady trail of abuse by males my own age or older, mostly for the fact I am a girl, then secondly for admitting to signing it. Despite the fact they themselves will not be in attendance at the festival or are even fans of this band.

This has made it clear to me that while a petition itself can be good thing, it is also important to check just who will be effected by it and if indeed it contains factual information, as many have claimed this petition to be false, and I myself have stumbled upon petitions that are clearly false or misleading as the events they are campaigning against happened years before they were written. Or did not even occur in the first place.  I think for my next feature it will be valuable to those of you who are interested in the role of petitions for a guide to be done, looking at how to write one, how to keep those signatures safe so that others are not attacked for it as I was. And of course, how to deal with trolls that you'll come across if you wish to use social media to share your petition.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

June & July - Petitions and Peaceful Protests

The summer months are often the key time of year for peaceful protests, the weather is good, voting for new parliament / MP's has taken place in the UK, and new policies that effect the residents of the country or state are being brought in for public debate and reaction. This is the time of year that it is not uncommon to find protests and marches taking place on a weekly basis on a country wide or even global scale.

Why Protest?

Peaceful protests are often a very loud and visual way of getting your view point across whilst also raising public awareness for your cause. Project52 would never ever encourage violence at a protest as while those present may feel very passionate for their cause, we as individuals have a right to our own opinions and this right should be respected as free will / freedom of speech.

A positive example of peaceful protesting and a good use for petitions from recent months was the ones held against the use of Angora, taken from the Angora Rabbit, often in an inhumane manner. Many of the protests against the use of Angora held outside stores that stock Angora products were non violent, entry to the stores was never blocked - a suitable distance was always maintained, and petitions against it had thousands of signatures to show that the residents of the UK did not approve of Angora use. As a result, several shop chains stopped ordering new products made from it after being shown the reality of how it is collected. An internet search engine will give you results displaying how it was collected from the rabbits if you are unaware of this particular issue.

Why use Petitions?

A petition is a document or file on which has a key statement about something the author of the petition would like to change. It is then signed by people who agree with that key statement and are willing to declare that agreement.

Petitions are usually kept at an information table during a protest or march sign up location, or in recent years, are hosted on a specialist site, such as Care2 for example, and then shared through social media, collecting digital signatures, names and addresses for the signatures so that it may be verified if necessary at a later date.

Due to the speed and usage of modern technology today, a petition can often surpass it's signature goal within weeks, making it into a viable legal document that can be utilized as a tool for positive change much faster, resulting in the possibility for a bill to be presented in the law houses around the world in a more suitable time frame than previously done.

During the next two months, Project52 will be presenting petition links of interest to the readers (you) that will have been signed by myself, along with background information where ever possible focusing on the petition itself,  along with lists of dates and locations for protests / marches planned by other groups/causes that may be of interest for the readers of Project52.

Together we are stronger, united we stand.