Well, for the second year running we proved how ordinary people working together can do extraordinary things. With no superstars, no celebrities, no mainstream media help, and no financial backing, we ran 262 events in 114 different towns and cities showing unity and solidarity are alive and well in post-Brexit Britain despite the negative narrative being pedalled out there.
It is an incredible thing to be a part of, it really is. Watching it build almost daily over six months and then flourish and bloom is a feeling impossible to describe as the WSO family just picks it up and runs with it and makes magic happen.
We had music of every genre, quiz nights, history walks, lectures, poetry, comedy, art auctions, car boot sales….just about anything you can imagine. It gives you a flavour of the massive amount of untapped creative talent there is out there, and if WSO can help unleash some of that, then that would be excuse enough to keep going; but it is so much more than that. WSO is not about us, it is about the people we help and the politics we are fighting against.
In a country where poverty-hatred is rife and actively encouraged by politicians and media alike; where race attacks are on the increase; where unemployment, low wages and zero hours contracts are making millions of people poor and KEEPING them there, crushing their hopes, destroying their futures, vilifying, victimising, humiliating and turning them against one another; who would have thought so many people could come together to offer the remedies of hope and compassion? But we did. We may not have won the war, but we have proved there is still a fight to be fought.
And through that fight we helped food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, crisis centres, and refugee charities. We donated food, cash, clothing, bedding, camping equipment….to the tune of well over £100,000. All of that stays in the towns it was raised as neighbour helped neighbour and demonstrated the true meaning of community.
We shall return in 2017 bigger, bolder and better and we will fight until the crippling impacts of austerity are banished to the dustbin of history forever, and this horrific agenda is exposed as ideological warfare on anyone who doesn’t turn a profit; because that is exactly what it is.
For now though, we did it.
#WSO2016 I salute you.
Thanks everyone. You rule.