#LockdownSolidarity

Being in lockdown has brought many things into focus for me, but perhaps the most troubling has been how to meet the growing need in our communities when my main source of fundraising has been cut off.

The need out there is greater than ever. With unemployment set to explode and a ‘furloughed’ workers trying to stretch 80% of their wage into 100% of their bills, demand on already stretched food banks has soared; and when that is coupled with a closure of support services, a grassroots emergency is unfolding invisibly, hidden by the emasculating presence of the international health crisis dominating the headlines.

Thankfully, the success of #WSOisolationfest last weekend has secured our operations over in Ashton-under-Lyne, allowing Pauline Town the freedom to continue daily food parcels to the homeless, the elderly, and those with crippling physical and mental health problems struggling so much to provide the basics of existence for themselves. Knowing Pauline is safe has been a massive weight off my shoulders this week, but that is one town, and the question I’ve been asking myself is how do I help the next?

Well, my ‘Live In T’Shed’ gig on Saturday May 2nd began life as a fundraiser to replace my poor stricken laptop, which bid a final farewell to the world in the dying minutes of last week’s festival; but your generosity has meant I have that covered already, so the donations over and above that are now heading to Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham, a place delivering emergency food parcels in the Midlands much as Pauline is doing in Greater Manchester. Turning this live stream from t’shed into a fully-blown We Shall Overcome event makes sense, and if it’s a success I will broadcast a monthly show from there until we’re out of lockdown and I can get out and gig again.

To donate please click:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo039s-emergency-laptop-appeal

And to watch the gig join the group at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

But what else could be done?

Well, I decided yesterday to extend the #NotOnOurWatchCampaign from the ‘We Shall Overcome EP’ to include ALL Joe Solo CDs and backdate it to last Monday, so every penny raised from CD sales online will be donated weekly to a cause in urgent need. This will continue indefinitely, or at least until we can gig again and I can step up the help physically once again.

All titles are available from:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

and you can bag a CD knowing your contribution will have made a direct difference to someone’s life.

So there you have it, #LockdownSolidarity in a nutshell. Donate to the live stream, buy a CD, and you will be helping communities up and down the UK to combat the poverty restrictions of movement are inflicting on hundreds of thousands of people, because behind closed doors, this is the as yet invisible effect of Covid-19, and ultimately it could well be a bigger killer unless we fight it too.

Thanks folks x

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