Maintaining momentum after #107days

A month now already since the ‘end’ of #107days and we’re delighted that the momentum continues. With little/no effort from those of us in the #107days shed (which is lucky as the shed has been largely empty for the past four weeks). So here’s a taste of some of the post #107days actions… in no particular order:

Chrissie Rogers (and Eamonn) ran the British 10k London Run in LB’s name with remarkable cheer and good humour. Wonderful to see the photos.
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Continuing on a running note, Natasha @notsurejustyet is celebrating her 40th birthday shortly and has decided to mark it by running a 10k race to fundraise for LB’s Fighting Fund and SNAAP.

In another one of those remarkable coincidences or happenings that have sprinkled magic dust over this campaign, we received the following message and photo on our facebook page:
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We are very grateful to all these healthy fundraisers.

Away from the exercise track, My Life My Choice held their monthly Sting Ray night club evening in LB’s memory with a raffle and ticket sales for the fund and LB’s favourite songs on the playlist. It was a brilliant evening with punters from across Oxford dancing their socks off all night. Amy Simmons wrote a wonderful and moving song titled Laughing Boy:

How could the world keep spinning?

Why does this house no longer feel like home?

Who are you to judge the value of his life, claim the cost is far too high?

Deciding who should live or die?

I no longer feel like smiling,

I’m surrounded by friends, but still I feel alone.

His life was never yours to take! My heart was never yours to break!

The choice was never yours to make!

I will not lay down my sword, for the world can ill afford,

To grow war weary, tired or bored, I cannot go back on my word.

For the battle must rage on, until the battle has been won,

Until justice has been done, for a life that’s been and gone…

Nothing lasts forever,

But eighteen years is hardly time at all.

I fight because I have to, there’s no happy ever after,

My world no longer filled with laughter.

My world no longer filled with joy…

Laugh on, laughing boy.

In other fundraising news, Pru has created chocolate buses for sale at her online chocolate shop and is selling them for £1.07 plus P&P, with proceeds to the fund.
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Other edible fundraisers included a cake sale by Rosa, Ruby and friends:

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…..before the flag was washed and Dan Goodley and Katherine Runswick-Cole continued the global march of the LB flag.

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As Katherine emailed ‘Just to say that the response to #JusticeforLB was amazing in Melbourne and Singapore and it was so exciting for us to watch the #LBBill emerging on twitter while we’ve been away’.
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Over the last month, awareness raising has also continued at a pace. Chris and Becky were tweeting from the IASSID Conference in Vienna and Max presented on #JusticeforLB at the #PDXGathering in Portland.

Closer to home #JusticeforLB was introduced to the JSWEC audience by a number of supporters including Hannah, Liz and Jo.
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Jackie also worked her magic on the Social Care Curry punters and arranged a donation for #JusticeforLB.

Sue Bott, of Disability Rights UK also raised the experience of LB through our amazing animation, with those at their Independent Living conference #ILVision

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LB made it into Hansard, a significant and heart breaking milestone:
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In other news, we are submitting a chapter about #107days and #JusticeforLB to a new edited book about social media and disability published by Ashgate. Animated and committed discussions are happening around the development of a Private Members Bill (currently ‘nicknamed’ the ‘LBBill’) to ensure that people have the right to live in their own home (an idea extraordinary with its simplicity). A facebook group has been set up to capture early discussions around this.

Finally, the Justice Quilt is being finished by the magical team of stitchers led by Janet Read and rumours are, it will be launched at the forthcoming Disability Studies Conference (9-11th September at Lancaster University) before being displayed at three other UK destinations across the next 12 months, yet to be decided.

So, as you can see any hopes of #JusticeforLB becoming quieter or less visible post #107days are entirely unfounded. Thank you all for your continued support.

Day 79: Buses, cake and prosecco #107days

Day 79 was adopted by Sara’s colleagues at Oxford, and Ulla explains below what they are up to and why:

What I’d really want to do today is to take Sara for a knees-up in London. Tequilas and all. That plan is still very much going to materialise but for now it will need to wait. Today we are doing something more constructive, as a collective of Sara’s colleagues. Various people from our group at Oxford have adopted days individually or in groups but we felt it was important to come together as a whole group too to adopt a day in support for Sara, and in Connor’s memory.

Let’s get one thing out there; Sara is one sublime academic. Many people following her blog online might not be as aware of her incredible academic standing and achievements, and the unparalleled speed and integrity with which her career has developed, under not a remotely standard set of circumstances. I personally have never met an academic quite as creative, engaged, straight-talking, believable, productive, inclusive and unassuming as Sara. Oh and did I say productive? She sits outside the box. If you check on Wikipedia (not that we’d ever do that), there’s Sara’s reluctant photo next to ‘lateral thinking’ (her picture is probably next to ‘publishing at speed’ too). Sara, like Connor, is one special person to know and to work with.

Our work is about listening to people’s stories, giving people space and respect and helping other people hear those stories. This, in essence, is what we hope that Day 79 will go towards achieving. We want to help more people hear Connor’s story. To listen and to act. What we are doing is hosting a ‘Buses, Cake and Prosecco’ event at our department, The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, on June 6. Connor loved buses, we love Prosecco and everyone loves cakes. Luring fellow academics and health professionals in with some cake is of course only a cover. What we really want to do is make everyone aware of Connor’s story, the appalling state of provision for young learning disabled people at our doorstep and to raise more awareness of and funds for #justiceforLB.

Not everyone in our group ever got to meet Connor, now everyone wishes they’d had. Most of us were in the office the day he died, gathered on the sofas for the devastating news, most went to his funeral and everyone has been shaken to the core. Many of us think of Sara’s and Richard’s pain every day, when we share a coffee or grab a sandwich together at lunchtime. When we read a new paper that triggers a thought or at the bus stop, waiting for the red bus. It’s not always said out loud but we always, always care. And that’s why we adopted Day 79.