Many will know that I generally don’t like disability charities, in particular Leonard Cheshire Disability, as you may guess from various pages on my blog. The big disability charities institutionalise us, take our voice, consume our resources and use our language whilst oppressing us. As disabled people, we get portrayed as powerless objects of pity, charity recipients with no rights – the constant refrains being “Rights Not Charity” and “Piss On Pity“.
Cartoon courtesy of the excellent Crippen
So many will be surprised that I am fundraising for a disability charity.
The difference is that it’s the Calvert Trust Kielder, and they are…. different. Amazingly, wonderfully different. Of course, as a disability charity they have to do some of the “supercrip” publicity, the “make a difference to some disadvantaged person’s life” and so on which grates so terribly; sadly this is necessary for funding. But in reality these are people who do their utmost to make stays with them as comfortable, entertaining and (should guests want it) challenging as possible, with the minimum of fuss. Nothing is too much effort for them.
People who know me will know that because I’m a gobby git life can be difficult for me, particularly where I live. I have been victimised so many times, in so many ways, both overt and covert, for daring to challenge organisations. I have had intense mental health crises, faced eviction, big safeguarding investigations etc. etc. etc. Throughout all this, the Calvert Trust Kielder have been an incredible oasis of togetherness and “can do” attitude. They have changed my life so much. I’ve been going there 14 years now, and I can’t wait until I can go again. (Once those bastard midges have buggered off for the year…)
So: I’m doing the Great North Run in aid of them. People who know me will know that I am about as un-sporty as they come; rotund, unfit, and generally loathe physical activity! So you’ll appreciate just how much this commitment is.
I know that many of my friends, co-campaigners and so on don’t have much or any money, so please don’t feel obligated – but should you wish to sponsor me, you can do so here:
Or by text: