Those of you who have followed me this last month or so will know it has been a rough ride, but thanks to the wonderful Tony Booth and the hundreds of people who responded to his moving demonstration of solidarity, we have managed to turn that into something pretty special.
Tony’s GoFundMe campaign eventually raised £10,320.53 after the site’s fees.
It cleared yesterday.
I wanted everyone to know where their help went, so here goes.
The three main causes I support with music and merch sales got pole position because it was there I had originally pledged the prize money; so £1750 went to Pauline in Ashton-under-Lyne, who is keeping WSO Central running against all the odds. This money has already gone to secure three flats and a house meaning seven people will have a proper home this Christmas instead of facing winter on the streets.
Another £1750 went to Mesopotamia in Nottingham where Rachel and the team perform miracles every day keeping the community together in spite of the pressures currently tearing people apart.
£2000 went to Hull Unity Shop whose anti-fascist, pro-Working Class manifesto is helping keep the Far Right off the estates with solidarity parcels of food and hope.
£1000 went to 0161 Community in Manchester who mirror the stance of Hull and reach out into struggling communities with a message of unity and resistance to fascism in all its forms.
£1000 went up to Glasgow St. Pauli who do fantastic work with the Scottish Refugee Council and United Glasgow FC and who immediately pledged it to a non-referral food bank locally to help rescue Christmas for those going without.
£500 is heading to Clapton CFC whose message of positive anti-fascism is giving hope to tens of thousands worldwide, and who run a support campaign for members struggling to survive.
£500 went to the UVW Strike Fund to help workers in struggle this winter. United Voices Of The World support mostly migrant workers on the lowest pay and worst conditions who have often never witnessed trade unionism or ever had someone stand at their shoulder. As such they are some of the most exploited people in the country, and I’m glad to help them fight for better.
£500 went to the We Shall Overcome Christmas pot adding to the £500 donated by Coast and County Radio, and the big share out will be announced tomorrow in Good News #2.
I asked Tony if he would choose a cause for £1000 as a gesture of thanks for his solidarity. He chose Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, and we subsequently donated the remaining money there.
The £320.53 is going to help support a musician much-loved by the WSO family, who is currently struggling as a full-time carer for a very poorly partner, and to whom we want to pass on our love and solidarity in these tough, tough times.
So there you have it. All gone.
It will be out there tomorrow fighting fascism by shining a light in its darkness and driving it back to the shadows. The Far Right thrive on poverty and hopelessness. What we try to do is combat that environment by giving people hope, not just in the form of food but in the means by which that food is raised- Unity and Solidarity. It says we are a community and we will not leave you behind.
Tony and all those who contributed have changed a lot of hearts and minds this Christmas, and have turned some of the bleakest days of my life into some of the best.
I will never be able to thank you enough x
We fight til they lose.